Bug bites happen, and they happen even more commonly in the summer and spring. Bugs like bees and ants actually do a lot of great things for the earth, but they can cause some pain by biting or stinging when the feel threatened.
Luckily, most bug bites and stings aren’t really anything to worry too much about, and they usually clear up within a few days. Read on to learn more from our AFC Urgent Care Indian Trail team!
What Should I Do First If I Get Bitten or Stung?
It’s important to keep track of your symptoms after being bitten or stung. If the pain, redness and/or swelling are limited to the bite site, it is considered minimal and can be treated using the procedures described in the section below.
Call our AFC team if you have swelling that isn’t localized, such as a sting on the hand that causes swelling in the arm. In most circumstances, this type of symptom isn’t as serious as it appears, but it’s still worth discussing with a medical professional.
How to Treat Insect Injuries
- Remove any stingers.
- Gently wash the area with soap and water.
- Apply a damp rag soaked in cold water or ice to the area of the bite or sting for 10 to 20 minutes. This helps reduce pain and swelling.
- Take an OTC pain reliever as needed.
- If the injury is on an arm or leg, elevate it.
What Should I Expect From a Bug Bite or Sting?
Like we said previously, most bug bites and stings are relatively harmless, but they tend to cause itchiness for several days. Any redness caused by a bug bite will usually last around three days if it doesn’t get infected, and swelling will typically last for around a week.
Also, if swelling from your bug bite seems to be worse in the morning, that’s normal, as swelling is usually worse after lying down all night. It will improve after standing for a few hours. To take steps toward possibly preventing future bug bites, consider the tips we’ve listed below!
Ways to Prevent Bug Bites
- Use insect repellent. To protect against bugs like mosquitoes and ticks, use insect repellent that contains 20 to 30% DEET on exposed skin and clothing, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association.
- Wear appropriate clothing. If you are worried about getting bitten by mosquitoes or stung by some other type of insect, wear clothes that cover your arms and legs, like long sleeves, pants and closed-toed shoes instead of sandals.
- Limit activities that increase your risk. Activities like hiking, camping, doing yard work and visiting farms and forested areas all put you at a greater risk of getting stung or bitten.
If your bug bite is causing you some concern, don’t hesitate to visit our AFC team! We can provide quality care for all kinds of spring and summer ailments.