Mosquitoes, flies, fleas, bedbugs, and many other insects can bite. Insect bites are different from insect stings. A sting is when poison (venom) is injected into the skin. Insect bites can cause pain or itching for a few days, but they are usually not serious. Some insects can spread diseases to people through a bite.
Symptoms of an insect bite include:
- Itching or pain in the bite area.
- Redness and swelling in the bite area.
- An open wound (skin ulcer).
In many cases, symptoms last for 2–4 days.
This condition is usually diagnosed based on symptoms and a physical exam.
Treatment is usually not needed for an insect bite. Symptoms often go away on their own. Your health care provider may recommend creams or lotions to help reduce itching. Antibiotic medicines may be prescribed if the bite becomes infected. A tetanus shot may be given in some cases. If you develop an allergic reaction to an insect bite, your health care provider will prescribe medicines to treat the reaction (antihistamines). This is rare.
- Use insect repellent. The best insect repellents contain:
- DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535.
- Higher amounts of an active ingredient.
- When you are outdoors, wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
- Avoid opening windows that do not have window screens.
HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS
- Do not scratch the bite area.
Keep the bite area clean and dry. Wash the bite area daily with soap and water as told by your health care provider.
If directed, apply ice to the bite area.
- Put ice in a plastic bag.
- Place a towel between your skin and the bag.
- Leave the ice on for 20 minutes, 2–3 times per day.
To help reduce itching and swelling, try applying a baking soda paste, cortisone cream, or calamine lotion to the bite area as told by your health care provider.
Apply or take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your health care provider.
If you were prescribed an antibiotic medicine, use it as told by your health care provider. Do not stop using the antibiotic even if your condition improves.
Keep all follow-up visits as told by your health care provider. This is important.
SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:
- You have increased redness, swelling, or pain in the bite area.
- You have a fever.
SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:
- You have joint pain.
- You have fluid, blood, or pus coming from the bite area.
- You have a headache or neck pain.
- You have unusual weakness.
- You have a rash.
- You have chest pain or shortness of breath.
- You have abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting.
- You feel unusually tired or sleepy.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any signs or symptoms of an insect bite please don’t hesitate to contact us at Kudo Care, 972-639-5836 and schedule an appointment today. We look forward to helping you.