How to Handle Insect Bites? - Slideshow
About Insect Bites
All of us have been stung or bitten by some insect in our lifetime.
Most insects bite or sting when provoked.
Some common examples of insects that bite or sting include ants, wasps, bees, mosquitoes, spiders and hornets. However, there are many, many more!
What happens when insects bite?
During a sting or a bite, poisonous substance (venom) is injected into the victim.
In those who are allergic to this venom, the episode can be fatal.
The method of inflicting bite or sting, and the degree of its impact, varies with the insects.
The symptoms of insect bite or sting -
Redness / Swelling
Itching / Infection
People who are allergic to bites or stings experience a severe reaction called anaphylaxis. The symptoms include -
Shortness of breath / choking
Chest tightness / pain
If you cannot identify which insect bit you, observe your wound for a while.
In case of redness or swelling, first clean the affected area gently with soap and water, to remove insect particulates. Then apply ice, wrapped in cloth, over the affected area.
In case of infections, antibiotics are administered.If the wound is open it is better to see a doctor
If case of hives, anti histamines such as benadryl can be administered, in the cream or pill form, to control itching.
Calamine lotion also helps to soothe affected parts.
In case of anaphylaxis, seek emergency help as soon as possible. IV fluid and oxygen may sometimes be administered.
When out of danger, the patient may have to continue with antihistamines and, sometimes, with steroids too.
After an episode of anaphylaxis, the person is advised to carry a kit containing epinephrine injector, tourniquet, anti histamines and even steroids.
This kit can be used only with guidance from a doctor.
The patient may also be asked to consult an allergy specialist for a desentizing therapy.
Prevention / Control
Some of the methods to control insect bites or stings-
Minimize skin exposure in infested areas by wearing long-sleeved clothes
Use insect repellents
Minimize outdoor activity during dawn and dusk, when insects are most active.
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