INSECT BITES AND STINGS
Insect bites and stings usually only cause minor irritation, such as swollen, itchy, red marks on the skin that last for a few days.
Some bites or stings can be painful or trigger more serious allergic reactions like nausea, facial swelling, breathing difficulties, stomach pain or shock..
HOW TO TREAT AT HOME
- If there is a stinger in your skin, gently scrape it off with your fingernail or the edge of a card. Do NOT pinch the sting out with your fingers or use tweezers as you may spread the venom.
- Wash the bite with soap and water, and pat dry
- Place an ice pack (wrap a bag of ice in a towel), then place this on the wound
- Do not scratch the bite as this may cause infection
- If the bite is painful or swollen, consult your neighbourhood pharmacist about over-the-counter medication like Paracetamol or Ibuprofen
- If the wound is itchy or swollen, apply a topical cream containing anti-histamines or mild hydrocortisone (1%)
SEE YOUR GP IF:
- there are signs of infection e.g. increasing redness, pain, swelling, fever
- the sting fills with pus
- you experience flu-like symptoms
GO TO THE A&E IF YOU HAVE:
- been stung three or more times
- been stung in the mouth
- painful itching or swelling on other parts of your body, e.g. mouth or face
- symptoms of systemic reaction like:
- difficulty in breathing
- nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
- fast heart rate
- confusion or agitation
- pale skin