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You are here : home > Health > General Health > First Aid for Bites and Stings

First Aid for Insect Bites and Stings

First aid for bites and stings depends on the symptoms of insect bite and the type of insect. Find information on reactions to insect bites and ways to reduce itching or stinging sensation.

Insect bites result in injection of venom and other toxic substances into the skin. As a result the individual experiences pain and more often than not, an allergic reaction. The severity or intensity of the reaction is dependent on the sensitivity of the individual to the venom or the toxic element that was present in the insect bite. So, one needs to take ample measures to ensure an effective first aid, when you are bitten by an insect. This is important as sometimes, we tend to overlook the need of an immediate
first aid, as the reactions are not immediately visible. So we conclude that the bite must have been non-poisonous. But the best way is to opt for a first-aid and then check with the doctor on what further measures are required.

Symptoms of Insect Bite

Given below are some of the most common symptoms of insect bite:

  • Swelling at the site of insect-bite, or the face, joints or glands
  • Difficulty in breathing smoothly
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Change in the blood pressure levels and
  • Impact on the natural circulation of the body, caused mostly due to shock

The Type of Insect and Their Bites

Bees, wasps, fire ants, hornets, and yellow jackets are found to cause the most intense reactions amongst the common ones. Bites or sting of scorpions and certain variants of spiders can be quite fatal. Ants, ticks and mosquitoes are found to have the comparatively less intense bite. But one needs to be careful in all cases of insect bite as the reactions cannot be predicted.

First Aid for Mild Reactions

  • Move to a safe area so that you do not get any more stings.
  • If there is a stinger stuck in the skin, remove it with your finger tips or a pair of tweezers immediately. This will effectively reduce the release of further venom.
  • Wash the area thoroughly with the help of a mild or clinical soap and water.
  • Take some ice and make a cold pack to apply to the area of the bite so that the swelling and pain is reduced.
  • Take some pain reliever that is specific to insect bites like Tylenol or general pain relievers like Ibuprofen for some instant relief.
  • Contact a doctor as soon as possible and refrain from the use of drugs if you observe some complex symptoms or if you are already allergic to pain relievers.
  • Apply topical creams to reduce itching and pain. Again make sure that these creams do contain the necessary elements like Hydrocortisone, Pramoxine and/or Lidocaine that are known to relieve pain from insect bites.
  • OR, apply calamine lotions and baking soda to reduce the itchiness.
  • The other reactions to insect bite can be intestinal cramps and diarrhoea, for which one must only go for prescribed medicines.

First Aid for Severe Reactions

Severe reactions show symptoms that go beyond just the site of bite and can spread or progress very fast. It thus becomes essential to see a doctor immediately. The moment you notice any of the following symptoms like swelling of the lips, change in the colour of the lips, swelling and pain in the throat, acute nausea, breathing trouble, vomiting, dizziness or notice that the heartbeat gets faster, call for medical help without delay.

  • Make the person comfortably placed and positioned. Loosen the clothing so that the breathing is eased.
  • If the person suffers a shiver, cover him with a blanket.
  • Avoid giving him anything to drink as this might complicate the condition by making him choke.
  • If there is vomiting or bleeding from the mouth, turn the individual to one of his sides, so that choking is prevented and the vomiting or bleeding is reduced.
  • If you find that the circulation stops, resort to CPR immediately.
  • Always administer drugs prescribed by the doctor after following all the relevant instructions.

Reactions to Insect Bite

An itching or stinging sensation is the most common reaction to an insect bite. It sure is an irritating and annoying sensation. In most cases there can be a mild swelling that usually disappears within a couple of days, if the insect bite is not that venomous. There can also be a delayed reaction in some cases, where the individual experiences mild to high fever associated with pain and swelling in the joints and even the glands can swell due to the intensity of the toxin.

Finally, one needs to take note of a vital point here, even if it is the same insect bite, in different occasions, or different individuals, the reactions can vary. That is, it can have a mild impact on one occasion or individual, while the intensity of the reaction can be higher with the other. According to various researches on the subject of insect bite, it has been observed that it is quite rare that the individual develop anaphylaxis, a very severe form of reaction to the venom.

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Pranjal.5 years ago
Insect bites can be serious....they need prompt medical look out for the reactions after an insect bite.
Prana.5 years ago
It was interesting to know the severe reactions of insect bites and stings. I never knew that insect bites could be serious.
Manish.5 years ago
Quite informative..........insect bites and stings are quite common and this write up gives good first aid tips.
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Discussion Forum - Recent Posts
How to reduce itching due to an insect bite? What is first aid for bites and stings? How to reduce the intensity of toxin from an insect bite?
to reduce itching from insect bites, you must first of all remove the stinger if it is there. Then you can wash the area with soap and water. Honey relieves itching and even aloe vera gel has the same...
First aid for insect bites and stings is to remove the stinger with tweezers and then washing the are with a mild soap and water. Any pain reliever can be applied to soothe the pain or ice can be appl...
A good remedy is to apply calamine lotions and baking soda to reduce the itchiness. a good home remedy is to apply tulsi leaf juice to the affected area. It gives instant relief. ...
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