Insects can be some of the most annoying nuisances around, and the last thing you want is a bite or sting from any pest of the kind. You can encounter insects in several places, including your home, on your favorite hiking path, camping, or even picnicking in the park. Ants, bees, flies, fleas, mosquitoes, wasps, and spiders, among others, are common insects that either deliver a sting or bite. Knowing how to protect yourself from an insect bite or sting can help to keep you safe. However, if you are unlucky and are bitten or stung, having a treatment option will quickly determine how you recover. Visit AFC Urgent Care Stoneham for treatment of any insect bite or sting that is not life-threatening.
After a mosquito bite, a small, round, puffy bump usually appears, followed by the bump turning reddish, swollen, and hard. The area will become itchy as well. General treatment involves washing the area with warm soapy water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), applying an ice pack for 10 minutes can reduce swelling and itching. An application of a mixture of baking soda and water can help minimize the itch response. You can also try over-the-counter topical anti-itch creams, pain relievers, antihistamines for pain and itch control.
The feet and ankles are common places that fleas bite, leaving their mark in clusters of red itchy bumps with a halo. Treatment isn’t always necessary, but you have to eliminate the fleas to end the biting. A white pocket or rash is a common sign of an infection, which should be seen by a doctor. For the general treatment of flea bites, you can apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the affected portion of the skin to cause numbness and relieve swelling. Rub the bites with a bit of aloe vera to alleviate the swelling and redness, and try tea tree oil and witch hazel for itching.
A bee sting causes sharp burning pain, swelling around the sting area, redness, or itching. A white spot usually appears at the punctured site. Severe reactions include hives or pale skin, difficulty breathing, swollen throat and tongue, nausea, dizziness, or a lack of consciousness. General treatment begins with the stinger’s immediate removal to minimize the amount of toxin released into the skin and wash the affected area with soap and water. Ice the skin to help reduce the swelling and pain and limit venom absorption.
Fire Ant Bites
Fire ants attack with a painful, stinging bite that could lead to a medical emergency, which may require urgent care. They deliver venom with their bite, which appears as swollen reddish spots with a blister on top. Burning and itching can last for up to 7 days. Difficulty breathing and swallowing is typically a sign of a dangerous, severe allergic reaction. General treatment for a mild sting reaction includes washing the impacted area with soap and water to rid the skin of the venom. Cover with a bandage and apply ice to help minimize the inflammation and pain. Topical treatments can be applied to the area that can help to reduce itching and pain. Visit AFC Stoneham for treatment.
Bed bug bites typically leave a burning sensation, raised itchy bumps or rash with a dark-reddish center, bumps or welts in a line, zig-zag pattern or grouped, or inflamed skin with papular eruptions. General treatment of bedbug bites includes cleaning the area with soap and water. To soothe itching, try over-the-counter hydrocortisone, anti-itch creams, and antihistamines. Most bites and stings cause mild discomfort and will heal themselves after a couple of days. Still, it’s important to treat them immediately and monitor the site for symptoms of a severe allergic reaction. Any signs of an allergic reaction should be attended to urgently by a doctor. Avoid insect stings and bites by wearing appropriate clothing, applying insect repellent, not disturbing them, and properly storing food.