In Texas, everything seems bigger – including some of our bugs. While it might not really be true that they are bigger, bug bites sure feel that way sometimes. There are many bug bite remedies on store shelves. But, the most important step is treating the bite right away. Reader’s Digest has treatment suggestions for our most common bug bites.
The Best Way to Treat Every Type of Bug Bite
Bee or wasp stings
You need to act fast to minimize the pain from a bee sting. ‘It’s important to remove the stinger right away to decrease the amount of venom injected and reduce the risk of a foreign body reaction, although these are rare,’ says Heather Hawthorne, MD, from Doctor on Demand. ‘Be sure to wash the area with soap and water, and then quickly apply an ice pack for 20 minutes to reduce pain and swelling. Over-the-counter ibuprofen such as Advil is usually adequate to control the pain, swelling, and redness if needed. Topical antihistamines such as Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Relief Stick work well to control any itching that occurs. It’s important to watch for signs of a secondary bacterial skin infection, which can happen after any type of insect sting or bite. Symptoms may include streaking redness, pus draining from the site, or worsening pain, and these usually show up three to five days after the sting. These symptoms need medical attention. Check out these tips that’ll help you avoid getting bit or stung in the first place.
Ticks are known to carry serious illnesses like Lyme disease. The first course of action is to remove the tick with a pair of tweezers and save it in an alcohol-filled container to show your doctor. Treat the bite with alcohol, and keep an eye out for a bullseye-shaped rash or flu-like symptoms, which could indicate Lyme disease. And be sure to pick up a good pair of tweezers. Watch out for these symptoms of Lyme disease you might ignore.
If you end up with a zigzag pattern of welts on your body, it could be the work of bedbugs. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, washing with soap and water and using an over-the-counter corticosteroid cream could help with the worst of it, though if you develop an infection or an allergic reaction to the bites, you might require prescription intervention with antibiotics or antihistamines. Learn the secrets to keeping bedbugs at bay.
If you’re out and about in the evening, it seems to be pretty impossible to avoid getting one of these itchy red welts. But if you’re pretty tasty to mosquitoes, one study suggests that taking a little Zyrtec could help reduce the sting of their bites.’Over-the-counter products with pramoxine, such as Sarna Sensitive lotion, work well to control itching,’ Dr. Hawthorne says. Learn the reason you should never scratch a bug bite.
‘Sandflies may be tiny, but their bites have a mighty impact, causing annoying pain and itching,’ Dr. Hawthorne says. ‘Ice is a great numbing agent for this type of pain. Rub an ice cube in a circular motion over the bite several times a day to control the pain. Use antihistamines to control itching.’ You can also use a reusable ice pack.
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