The first thing to know about bug bites is that many are nonpoisonous. Among the most common in the United States are all types of flies, mosquitos, and fleas.
While irritating they are not poisonous, though some can cause allergic reactions.
Bug bite prevention
If you know that you are going to be in an area with bugs there are some things that you can do. Wear clothes that cover much of your body. Some bugs can bite through light clothing. Use a good insect repellent such as one that contains 20% DEET or Picaridin. Your pharmacist can suggest a good repellent as well as other possible precautions.
Nonpoisonous bug bite reactions
Most nonpoisonous bug bite reactions range from nothing more than a small, itching, raise in the skin to a large painful sore. Scratching can irritate a bug bite and make it worse.
Nonpoisonous bug bite treatment
If a nonpoisonous bug bites you should clean the area well with soap and water, if possible, or with an alcohol swab. If necessary, use an ointment or cream that contains an antihistamine, anesthetic, or corticosteroid. Your pharmacist can recommend a good medication for you to use and to have on hand.
Poisonous bug bite reactions
If the bite is from a poisonous bug or spider you can expect intense pain, itching, swelling, and a blister or other skin blemish. Additionally, you might experience joint stiffness, muscle spasms, and even difficulty speaking or seizures. If the bite quickly changes to a sore is another poisonous bite sign.
Poisonous bug bite treatment
You will likely have an immediate reaction if the bite is poisonous. You will need to seek help from a medical professional immediately.
When to call 911
If there is an intense reaction to any type of bite, call 911 immediately.
If you know that you have severe allergic reactions, called anaphylaxis, to certain bug bites, you should have a prescription for epinephrine. Epinephrine can immediately treat the allergic reaction.
Contact us today for more information on these or other medications.