Usually insect, bug and spider bites are not harmful. Your skin’sallergic reaction to an insect bite or sting is a result of venom or other substance injected into it. The severity of your symptoms depends on your sensitivity to the substance.
Most will react to bites or stings with an itching or stinging sensation, coupled with mild swelling that typically goes away within a couple days. The most bothersome and/or hurtful are stings or bites from:
- fire ants
- yellow jackets
Generally milder and/or itchy allergic reactions result from:
Treatment for mild allergic reactions is:
- Scrap off the stinger ~ don’t try to pull it out because this may release more venom
- Wash the area with soap and water
- Utilize a cold pack/cloth to reduce pain and swelling
- Use hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion or baking soda paste on your bite or sting until discomfort goes away
- Take an antihistamine containing diphenhydramine or chlorpheniramine maleate
You may experience a delayed reaction that can cause:
You could experience the immediate reaction of itching/stinging and a delayed reaction all from the single bite or sting.
A very small percentage develop severe reactions (anaphylaxis) to insect venom. A severe allergic reaction’s signs and symptoms include:
- go into shock
- facial swelling
- rapid heart rate
- breathing difficulty
- abdominal pain/cramps
- nausea, cramps and vomiting
Severe reactions can rapidly progress, so emergency medical assistance will be needed immediately upon the first sign or symptom.