How To Treat Insect Bites

Everyday Illnesses Common Remedies
10 Treatments For Insect Bites

Bites by insects like mosquitoes, fleas, flies, spiders and bedbugs are very common. They can cause a small skin reaction which is usually confined to the area of the bite. The irritation occurs when the insect bites and injects their saliva (which contains lots of nasty substances) into your skin. Bites can usually be treated at home in the following ways:

1. Remove Sting
If you are stung by a bee or wasp, remove the sting by scraping it out with a nail or pull it with a tweezers. Do not squeeze the skin to force the sting out or you may spread the poison (venom). Wasps and hornets don't usually leave their sting in, so if you have been stung walk away from the area because they could sting you again. See more on how to treat wasp stings.

2. Wash The Bite
Wash the bite with warm water and soap to help clean away residual venom.
3. Reduce Swelling
Place some ice or a frozen bag of peas on the bite for 10 minutes to reduce swelling. Cover the ice pack with a thin towel to prevent you from damaging your skin.
4. Antihistamine Cream
Use a spray or cream that contains either an antihistamine, mild hydrocortisone (1 percent) or anesthetic. Alternatively apply calamine lotion or baking soda paste (made from combining baking soda with a little water). This helps relieve itching. Try to avoid scratching bites because they can become infected.
5. Gold Bond
Maximum Relief Gold Bond Medicated Anti-Itch Cream is excellent for insect bites, skin irritations and sunburn.
5. Blisters Treatment
If your bite turns into a blister, don't burst the blister because it can become infected. If possible place a plaster over the blister to protect it.
6. Vinegar
Soak the bite in vinegar or apple cider vinegar to reduce swelling, redness and itchiness.
7. Aspirin Paste
If the bite is really itchy, crush two aspirin and add a few drops of water to make a paste. Apply the paste directly to the bite. It helps to neutralize the venom.
8. Bug Bite Patches
Ask your pharmacist for patches which look like small plasters to apply directly to the bite. Each patch contains medication to reduce itching and inflammation.
9. Crushed Onion And Garlic
Some people swear by these natural remedies: crush a piece of raw onion, or raw garlic and rub directly into the wound.
10. Tetanus Shot
You should get a tetanus booster shot within a few days of being stung if you have not had one in the past 10 years. Tetanus bacteria can enter the body through a puncture wound caused by an insect bite like a bee or wasp sting. Once in the body the bacteria multiply quickly and can lead to severe illness and even death.

Anti-Bite Instructions and Warnings!

1. Bees are attracted by water, including swimming pools and paddling pools.
2. Swarming bees are dangerous because they have the queen with them. Stay away from swarms. If you are unfortunate enough to be attacked by a swarm of bees, immediately close your eyes and mouth and wait for help. If you are near water, jump in and submerge yourself.
3. Insects are attracted to sweet things. If you are going on vacation to a hot place with lots of things that can bite you, reduce the amount of sweet foods you eat a week before travel. This will make your blood less sweet to mosquitoes in particular.
4. Mosquitoes are attracted to the smell of feet, so to distract them, place some smelly cheese in your room at night time.
5. Light lemon grass or citron smelling candles to repel insects.
6. If a bee lands on you, don't panic and swat it. Instead, gently brush it away. Large bumblebees tend to be 'nice' insects and rarely sting.
7. Bees are attracted by clothes in bright colors, particularly red, orange and yellow. Don't be mistaken for a flower, wear dull colors in the sun.

Other First Aid Remedies

How to stop hiccups: Instant remedies for curing hiccups.
How to treat sunburn: If you get a little too much sun.
How to treat rashes: Sore, itchy and red rashes.
How to treat someone in shock: Severe reactions.
How to stop nosebleeds: First aid treatment for nosebleeds.
How to treat blisters: Remedies for foot and hand blisters.
How to stop itching: Creams and remedies.
Skin care questions: From dry skin to spots, wrinkles and more.

• Other health issues? See: How to treat common illnesses.

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