Bites and Stings | Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc.
Spending time outdoors can increase your risk of getting bitten or stung by pesky insects. While many bites or stings are generally nothing more than an annoyance, in some cases they can be serious or even life-threatening. Whether you are bitten by mosquitoes, bees, or spiders, keep these dos and don’ts in mind.
- Do Be Aware of the Signs of an Allergic Reaction
Minor itching, swelling, and skin irritation are common with many types of bug bites. Generally, these symptoms may be treated using a topical anti-itch cream or antihistamine. However, an allergic reaction is very serious and possibly life-threatening.
The signs of an allergic reaction to a bite or sting include severe and widespread swelling, pain that is intense and does not subside, difficulty breathing, and fever. Feeling like the throat is closing up or cannot swallow is a typical sign of anaphylaxis shock. In such a case, you need to seek emergency care at once.
- Don’t Scratch the Bite
When insects bite, itching commonly occurs. Scratching the bite may inflame the area. Also, if the scratching breaks the skin, you may be prone to infection.
Because that itchy feeling occurs as the body releases histamine in reaction to the bite, you may find relief by using an over-the-counter antihistamine. To relieve your itching, take an oral antihistamine or a cream. Other anti-itch preparations may work as well.
Discourage children from scratching an insect bite or sting as well. In very young children, place a bandage over the bite to prevent scratching.
- Do Try Natural Home Remedies
Many individuals find relief from minor bug bites and stings using simple ingredients from home. The following are a few ideas you might want to try out for yourself.Ice Pack
Applying ice to an insect bite or sting should be the first order of business. An ice pack will help relieve swelling, as well as temporarily numb the area to relieve itching. Wrap the ice in a plastic bag and apply it for 20 minutes on and off, or use a frozen bag of vegetables if you wish.Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a natural astringent, which means that it helps to shrink swollen tissue. In doing so, the preparation may also help to shrink the insect bite as well. Simply dab a cotton ball in the witch hazel and apply it to the bite.Aloe Vera
Aloe is another natural remedy that has anti-inflammatory properties. Aloe feels cool and soothing on the skin and may relieve the irritation of a bite or sting. If you have an aloe plant, simply cut through one of the leaves and apply the gel-like substance directly to the skin. As an alternative, you may purchase aloe in gel form from your local pharmacy or health and nutrition store, but be sure it is all-natural with no harsh ingredients.Baking Soda Paste
By mixing some baking soda and water to form a paste, then applying it to the irritation, you may find soothing relief. Some people find that this solution relieves redness and itchiness.Tea Tree Oil
Many types of essential oils are used for treating minor bug bites, and tea tree oil is a popular choice. Because the oil has antimicrobial benefits, applying it to a bite may prevent infection. The oil may also help relieve irritation. Just place a few drops onto a cotton ball, and then rub the cotton ball on the bite.
- Don’t Hesitate to Seek Medical Attention
While most insect bites are not serious enough to require medical treatment, sometimes a trip to the hospital is necessary. If you or your child develops welts or swelling which does not respond to over-the-counter remedies, a prescription may be necessary. Head over to Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc., for proper treatment.