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How to Treat Swelling from an Insect Bite

Depending on the insect, some bites can be worse than others. The effects of a bit could leave you with pain and inflammation, swelling, redness, itching, burning sensation, or several other unpleasant reactions. Each person’s body may respond differently to a particular insect bite. Some bites may need immediate treatment and could even be life-threatening. Knowing how to treat an insect bite is key in alleviating the discomfort that you may be experiencing, reducing swelling, and restoring your skin. Visit AFC Urgent Care Boulder County for treatment options.

Treatment of Swelling

There are several approaches that you can take to treat swelling that results from an insect sting.

  • If a stinger remains in the skin, remove it with a tweezer, credit card, soft brush, or tape.
  • Wash the area with soap and water to remove any venom on the skin.
  • Apply an ice pack or cool compress regularly to the bite area, and if the bite is on an arm or leg, elevate. Wrap the ice pack in a towel.
  • Apply homemade baking soda paste, which has anti-inflammatory properties, until the swelling disappears.
  • Your doctor may recommend antihistamine tablets or creams that block the effects of histamine, which is partly responsible for the swelling.

When to Seek Emergency Care

An insect bite may have mild symptoms, but it’s possible to have a serious reaction to a bite, which could require emergency care. Here are some instances when you should seek emergency care should be sought if you experience any of the following:

  • Difficulty breathing or wheezing
  • Swelling of the lips, eyelids, or throat swells
  • Swelling of the face, lips, eyelids, or throat
  • Hives (possible severe allergic reaction)
  • Dizziness, faintness, or confusion (a possible sign of anaphylactic shock)
  • Nausea, cramps, or vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of consciousness or seizure
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pus from the bite site or increasing pain, or swelling in the area
  • The affected area expands beyond the initial bite-size to around ten cms and is swollen and red.
  • A bite near the mouth and/or throat
  • Worsening symptoms
  • Fever or flu-like symptoms

Potential Additional Symptoms

An insect bite could potentially manifest other uncommon symptoms that could have serious consequences on your health. Emergency care is also necessary in the case you experience:

  • A heart attack(severe allergic reaction to the bite)
  • A stroke(venom could cause blood vessels to constrict)
  • Paralysis(a sign of neurological illness)

An insect bite may not always have mild symptoms and could prove to be bad for your health. Swelling is a common symptom of an insect bite, and there are ways to reduce the swelling, from cold compress to antihistamine medication. Still, more serious symptoms may appear that require immediate, urgent care. It’s best to act swiftly when bitten by an insect, observe the bite site, and pay attention to your body’s response to avoid delayed care.

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