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How to deal with bug bites

If house flies and mosquitoes have been bugging you for a long time now, it’s time to deal with the problem of bug bites. When you have been bitten by a bug, it is important to keep examining the area bitten from time to time to check for any abnormal growth/occurrence. The welt of a bug bite may develop into something more severe and if noticed promptly, one can get rid of it easily.

Bug bites?

Some bugs are known to have a powerful sting/bite. Mosquito bites, especially, are painful. Only female mosquitoes bite and inject saliva under the skin. A red welt forms in the place which itches when there is an allergic reaction to the saliva.
The bites of flies, however, are more painful than that of mosquitoes but rarely results in an allergic reaction. Red and black ants have a stinging bite that results in the formation of a pus filled pustule or a blister that develops a day or two after the bite. They usually subside within a few days without causing any allergic reaction. However, people who are allergic to wasps and bees are usually also allergic to red ants.

Effects of bug bites

When insects bite or sting, they inject a small amount of saliva or venom under the skin. This may result in swelling, redness of the skin, pain and itching. In most cases, the person who has been bitten by a bug notices a swelling at the area of the bite that subsides within a couple of days. In rare cases, however, the itching can become severe and gradually unbearable.

How to deal with bug bites

  1. The safest way to steer clear of bug bites is to wear covered clothing while going outdoors.
  2. Apply insect repellant cream/ointment before going outdoors and at night.
  3. Apply an ice pack or a cold pack at the area of the sting to reduce the swelling.
  4. To control the itchiness, apply calamine lotion or a mixture of baking soda and water.
  5. If the entire body feels itchy, have a bath with Epsom salt.
  6. If the itch worsens and there is some type of liquid oozing out from the area, get it examined by a doctor immediately. The secretion can be a sign of an infection and may require further medication to heal.

In case of a serious allergy, one will notice the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Difficulty in breathing

In case one or more of the above symptoms occur, it indicates a serious allergy that requires immediate medical attention.

Besides, there are some over the counter medicines available that provide relief to the pain, help in subsiding the swelling and eliminating the itch. Such medicines, however, make one drowsy. Refrain from scratching the area that has been bit to prevent the spread of an allergic stimulant if there is any. Keep the nails short and do not fidget with the bite.

Image courtesy- flickr/amesjordan/

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