The Occurrence of
Dark Spots as a Result
of Insect Bites

Most people, especially adults, tend to have very minimal reaction to insect bites. Mosquito bites, for instance, are usually harmless, but can leave a puffy, reddish bump on the skin. These bumps do go away on their own in a few hours or days, provided they don’t get infected. In some cases, however, a mosquito bite can also manifest as dark or black spots. To some, the spots on their skin may present like a skin bruise, while for others, it can present as small blisters on the surface of their skin. This occurrence is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).

This condition usually occurs when a wound, skin scrape, rash or pimple causes the skin to be inflamed, which subsequently, triggers the skin healing process. During this process, too much melanin (the protein in skin which gives the organ its colour) can be released, causing a skin discolouration that presents itself as dark or black spots1. PIH usually fades away over time (with or without treatment), although the duration it takes to fully disappear varies for different individuals. The condition can also be treated using a prescription cream, which is especially effective for deep scarring. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s), hydroquinone and topical retinoids can all work in their own ways to treat the dark spots which occur with PIH1. Alternatively, you can prevent the occurrence of PIH by limiting the amount of time you spend under the sun, or by using a sunscreen cream to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.


Alas, insects may be just big enough to be seen by the naked eye, but don’t let their size fool you. Mosquitoes can also transmit diseases such as malaria, dengue and yellow fever2. Ticks, on the other hand, can cause you to suffer Lyme disease, while bees and fleas can trigger an allergic reaction through a sting or a bite, respectively.

open hand
Tips For Treating Not-So-Serious Insect Bites

In cases where a mosquito or insect bite is not severe, try on the following remedial tips for size:

Avoid scratching the bite area at all costs

This may be easier said than done, and we’ve all been there. But scratching that dark spot will not stop the itching and will only make it worse. This is because our immune system releases more histamine to protect our bodies from the mosquito's saliva. Wounds and infections are highly likely to happen from excessive scratching, especially if a person’s hands and nails are dirty, as it allows bacteria to enter through the skin(3). For mosquito bites, or any other insect bites that itch for that matter, it is best to be patient and avoid scratching altogether(4).

hand with heart
Use a mosquito or insect repellent spray

Applying a mosquito or insect repellant spray on your skin is always recommended, especially if you are heading to a mosquito-infested location. This is also very helpful for residential areas that are known to house an abundance of mosquitoes.

hand with leaf
Apply a mosquito or insect bite itch-relief cream, lotion or ointment

Several products that can alleviate the itching sensation and reduce the swelling that occurs with mosquito bites can be easily purchased over-the-counter at the nearest pharmacy. Some of these products can actually help to also treat the scars that are caused by these bites. Ideally, ensure that the product you choose contains ingredients such as eucalyptus oil and camphor, which have anti-inflammatory properties that help to relieve the pain and itch associated with mosquito or insect bites.

When to See a Doctor

If a person with mosquito or insect bites experiences symptoms that are typically uncommon, it is best to seek medical attention right away. Symptoms to watch out for may include the following:

  • High fever
  • Troubled breathing
  • Hives
  • Lesions
  • Blisters
  • Facial swelling, among others
Doctor and nurse examine kid

In conclusion, mosquitoes and insect bites are quite common and everyone has experienced them at least once in their lifetime. Presence of mind and discernment, as with all life situations, are important for differentiating between the mild and severe cases of biting. From here, you would be able to tell if the mosquito or insect bite can be treated at home, or requires immediate medical attention due to its severity. At the same time, it is also recommended to keep close a trusted ointment in the event of unexpected situations.

  1. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation and Acne (2020), Retrieved on September 14, 2020 from
  2. What diseases can mosquitoes carry (2013). Retrieved on September 1, 2020 from
  3. What Happens When a Mosquito Bite Gets Infected (And What to Do) (2018). Retrieved on September 2, 2020 from
  4. How to get rid of mosquito bites fast, and prevent them in the first place (2020). Retrieved on September 1, 2020 from
  5. Why do mosquito bites itch and swell up: When to see a doctor (2018). Retrieved on September 1, 2020 from