When should I see a doctor about a bug bite?
As we settle into the middle stretch of summer, the pesky insects of the season will continue to be a nuisance. While common bites from mosquitoes, spiders, fire ants, bees, wasps and even scorpions are irritating and painful for a brief time, their bites and stings are mostly harmless.
Most bug bites and stings can be treated with hydrocortisone cream to eliminate redness and itching. If you notice your skin swelling, take an oral antihistamine to stop the allergic reaction. If you have immediate nausea, headache, dizziness or feel like your throat may be closing after a bite or sting, go to the emergency room right away.
If you have treated your bite with at-home remedies and notice a rash developing in the bite area and experience extended fever, body aches and/or fatigue, make an appointment with a dermatologist immediately.
Children and the elderly population are more susceptible to harsher symptoms from bug bites and stings, so they should take extra care during the summer months. The best way to prevent bug bites is with a repellent containing DEET. Avoid standing water and wear light, long-sleeved clothing if possible. Also, remember if you are going outside at all, wear sunscreen and re-apply every two hours.
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