Manual insect bites: what to do in each case?


Insect bites such as mosquitoes, bees or wasps multiply in the hottest months. A problem that can spoil our best summer plans on a day in the countryside or on the beach, where it is also common to suffer jellyfish stings. Take note of our first aid to act against the bite of these annoying bugs!

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Normally when you bite a mosquito The most normal skin reaction is redness and itching. In some people it can also lead to long-lasting swelling. However, when it comes to a wasp or bee sting The reaction can be somewhat more serious, with a swelling that extends well beyond the area of ​​the sting and, sometimes causing difficulty breathing or altering the level of consciousness. In this article we try to tell you how to act against the bites of these insects to relieve itching and not ruin your plans.

What to do if a mosquito bites me

The most annoying symptom of a mosquito bite is the itching it causes. To calm it, it is best to use a cream or antihistamine product, since these are able to block histamine, a substance that releases the body in allergic reactions, obtaining immediate and lasting results. It is important to avoid scratching so that the area is not infected. If the lesion becomes infected, a topical antibiotic should be applied.

The mosquito bite can be very striking, with great inflammation of the prick area, especially if it occurs on the lips or eyelids. However, severe reactions to mosquito bites are very rare. What does usually happen when several mosquito bites occur in the same area is that the hives are reactivated, and may cause acute itching or papulous urticaria. In any case, before any strange symptoms after the bite of a mosquito, we recommend that you consult a doctor.

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What to do if a bee or wasp bites me

Some recommendations that medical experts usually make in case you suffer a bee or wasp sting are:

  • Wash the area with soap and water.
  • If it has remained inside, remove the stinger with cu> According to Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SEAIC) 10 to 20 people die each year in Spain due to allergic reactions to the sting of a wasp or a bee. When the person previously knows that he is allergic to these insects, he should always carry them by hand self-injectable adrenaline to be administered in case of bite. If the person suffering the bite suffers from dizziness, loss of consciousness or a drop in tension, it is urgent to notify a doctor.

What to do if a jellyfish itches

In case you are on the beach and a jellyfish bites you, the first thing is Wash the area well with saline or seawater, but never with fresh water, as this could spread the poison to other areas. It is not recommended to rub or scratch the itch. You must apply cold, for example ice cubes wrapped in a clean bag or cloth, to deactivate the poison. If tentacles remain on the skin, remove them with tweezers, never with your hands. If the itching is very strong you can opt for a antihistamine for the allergic reaction

Some people who have previously suffered a jellyfish sting may become sensitized and, in the face of a new sting, suffer a severe allergic reaction. If the affected person suffers from loss of consciousness, vomiting, cramping or difficulty breathing, before seeing the bite, you should see a doctor quickly. In addition, the jellyfish sting can be very dangerous or even fatal if it occurs in the water, as it can carry a risk of drowning.

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Just going out in the summer is very likely to come home with the odd bite. It is true that most produce only itching and discomfort in the affected area, but depending on the insect can cause more dangerous effects.

It is important to observe if there are signs of secondary bacterial infection of the skin, which can occur after any type of insect bite or bite. Symptoms may include redness of the veins, appearance of pus, or worsening of pain, which usually appear three to five days after the bite. These symptoms need medical attention. We explain how to remedy the bites of the most frequent summer insects.

Wasps and bees

Maybe these are the most painful and painful bites of every summer. The wasp or bee sting causes redness and swelling in the affected area, accompanied by annoying stabbing pain. The first step will be to remove the stinger as soon as possible, to stop the injection of poison. Once removed, it is recommended to act as quickly as possible, applying ice to the affected area, to reduce swelling. If the pain persists, ibuprofen can also help.

Without a doubt, the most classic type of summer bite. It is identified by intermittent itching and the appearance of hives on the skin. With the amount of mosquitoes in the environment it seems practically impossible to avoid one of these bites, but there are several remedies that you can use.

First, it is better not to scratch. The only thing that is achieved is to worsen the state of the bite by increasing the blood flow in that area, which causes a marked redness. To remedy itching, the best products are over-the-counter products that contain pramoxin, or use special lotions for mosquito bites, for sale in pharmacies.

Most spider bites are usually less painful than wasp stings, for example, but can also cause serious discomfort. The treatment against this type of bite is very simple, you should only apply cold on the area and use anti-inflammatories if the pain persists. If the bite has been caused by a brown recluse spider or a black widow spider, or you experience abdominal cramping or extreme pain in the bite, seek emergency medical attention.

Red ants

These types of ants are usually much more aggressive than the common ant, and their bite can be quite annoying. The bite can be identified by localized redness and the appearance of two red spots in the center. The usual protocol is to use ice, antihistamines and ibuprofen if the pain persists. However, a study by the University of Texas provides a new remedy, a solution between bleach and water in equal parts, which applied to the wound, helps calm the itching and pain.

How to act against insect bites


December 27, 2014

How to act against insect bites

Usually, insect bites and bites can be easily treated. However, some people may have severe allergic reactions. Know how to act

Cristina Kirchner

For most people, bites bring localized pain and discomfort, which usually last several hours. But in some cases, particularly in children, the consequence may be more important, last a few days and is called "exaggerated local reaction." The symptoms are redness, inflammation and itching in the sting.

A very different situation occurs in some people who are severely allergic to bites. This means that your immune system overreacts to venom injected by an insect and triggers a severe allergic reaction that compromises the entire organism - that is, systemically - that is called anaphylaxis.

In many cases, anaphylactic-type reactions can be life-threatening. Therefore, it is essential to keep in mind that if after a sting the symptoms exceed the local reaction, the person should be evaluated by a professional.

It should be remembered that these severe systemic reactions usually recur to new bites, often more severely. They usually do not disappear spontaneously with growth, they are only cured if they receive immunotherapy with the appropriate poison.

The severity may vary depending on the area where the insect bites. The most dangerous are in highly vascularized parts of the body, such as the head, fingers, lips or genitals.

Symptoms of severe reactions

- Hives in large areas of the body.

- Swelling in the throat or tongue.

- Difficulties in breathing, dizziness, cramps, nausea or diarrhea.

- In extreme cases, a rapid drop in blood pressure can cause shock and loss of consciousness.

If a person suffers from any of these symptoms after a sting, it requires urgent medical treatment. After the episode is over, a long-term management plan must be undertaken to prevent new episodes or, if they recur, know how to treat them quickly.

How to avoid bites

During the hot months you have to take special care with the stings of bees, wasps and red ants. It is recommended:

- Increase precautions in places where there is water and plants, since bees and wasps are usually in these types of areas.

- Move away from the "territory" of the biting insects. They are more likely to sting if they feel their home threatened.

- If you find flying insects that bite, keep calm and quiet, moving slowly.

- Bees and wasps look for nectar, so you should avoid confusing them. Vivid colors and perfumes can make it look and smell like a flower and attract bees. When outdoors, avoid brightly colored clothing and perfume.

- The smell of food attracts insects. Care must be taken when cooking, eating or drinking sweet drinks such as soda or outdoor juices. It is advisable to keep the food covered until it is served.

- Avoid loose clothing that can trap insects between the material and the skin.

- Red ants usually sting on the feet and between the toes. Therefore, you should wear closed shoes and never be barefoot.

Allergy tips

Many patients have an accurate diagnosis of insect bite anaphylaxis and have an adrenaline autoinjector. However, they are not sure when they should use it. Ideally, do so early and before the appearance of symptoms, even if they are not severe.

If the person has doubts about whether or not epinephrine is necessary, it is preferable to apply it immediately after a sting.

What to do before a sting?

If a bee bites you

When you have left your stinger with the sack of poison attached to the skin, remove them before 30 seconds have passed. They are scraped off quickly with the nail. Avoid squeezing the sack, as that injects more poison through the stinger into the skin.

If a hornet, wasp or vesicle bites you

These insects do not commonly leave their stingers. Try to keep calm and scare them away from the skin quickly with deliberate movements to avoid more bites. Then, immediately leave the area without making noise.

If red ants bite you

Leave the area, carefully. Ants bites usually form a vesicle approximately 24 hours later, inside which appears a substance that looks like pus, but it is not. Since the venom of red ants kills bacteria, what is seen inside the blister is dead tissue and should not be touched. It will dry and heal within 7 to 10 days. If the blister breaks, you should watch for a secondary bacterial infection.

Some special care

Diabetics and other people with circulatory disorders, such as varicose veins and phlebitis, may be at risk of complications. You should see a doctor who observes your condition after the bite. Up to 50 percent of patients develop large local reactions at the point where the ants bit. The inflammation may last several days and may be accompanied by itching, redness and pain.

Those with severe allergies to insect venom should be evaluated to determine if they can receive immunotherapy with insect venom. It is a highly effective vaccine program, which prevents future allergic reactions in 97 percent of treated patients.

How to act against a bee or wasp sting

  • Bees, when they bite, usually leave a stinger attached to a sack of poison. Try to remove the stinger as soon as possible using a scraping motion and avoiding opening the sack that contains the poison. (Wasps do not leave their stingers on their skin after itching, which means they can itch more than once).
  • Wash the bite area carefully with soap and water. Do it two or three times a day until the skin has healed.
  • Apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth or a damp and cold towel over the affected area for a few minutes.
  • Give your child paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve pain.
  • For pain and itching, give your child an over-the-counter oral antihistamine if your pediatrician agrees, follow the instructions in the leaflet, adjusting the dose to the child's age and weight. You can also apply a cream that contains corticosteroids or some calamine lotion in the area of ​​the sting.
  • Bites that affect any place in the mouth require immediate medical attention because bites in the oral mucosa can quickly cause significant inflammations that could clog the airways.
  • Seek medical attention if you notice a significant rash or swelling in the area around the bite, or if the pain or swelling persists for more than three days in a row, which could be the sign of an infection.
  • The following signs may indicate the presence of a serious and life-threatening allergic reaction. If you have an adrenaline injection, use it and call the emergency number (911 in the US) if you notice any of the following signs:
    • wheezing or wheezing (breathing noises) or trouble breathing
    • chest or throat tightness
    • swelling of lips, tongue or face
    • dizziness or fainting
    • nausea or vomiting

If your child has had an allergic reaction to a bee or wasp sting beforehand, ask your pediatrician to prescribe an adrenaline injection (also known as epinephrine).

How to act against a spider bite

  • Wash the bite area carefully with soap and water. Do it two or three times a day until the skin has healed.
  • Apply cold compresses.
  • Give your child paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve pain.
  • To prevent possible infections, apply antibiotic ointment and ensure that the child has clean hands. If you have any reason to suspect that your child has been bitten by a black widow or a brown inmate, wash the bite with soap and water, apply ice wrapped in a cloth or a cold compress on the bite and go to a service urgencies Even if your child has no symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Most spiders found in the US they are harmless, except for the black widow and the brown recluse. The brown recluse spider, a small oval-shaped, brown-colored arachnid with a violin-like mark on its back, is a priority in the central and southern US region. This spider likes to hide in dark and silent places, such as attics and garages, sheds and piles of firewood. The bite of this spider does not hurt at first (and it is possible that the child does not even realize that it has been bitten by a bug) but, in some cases, it causes swelling, changes in skin color and the appearance of a blister, on which a scar forms later. Chills, fever, rashes, pain, nausea and, rarely, more severe symptoms (such as seizures or coma) can also follow a brown recluse spider bite.

The black widow, which is found throughout North America, is bright black and has an orange hourglass mark on the belly. Its poison (toxic substance) can cause painful cramps that appear a few hours after the bite. The cramps can start in the muscles around the sting, then spread. The sting can also cause nausea, vomiting, chills, fever, headache and muscle aches. If your child has any of these symptoms, or if you think you have been bitten by a black widow or a brown inmate, go to an emergency department immediately.

How to act against a scorpion sting

Another type of sting that parents should be aware of is the scorpion. Given this type of bites, you should:

  • Wash the bite area with soap and water, apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth or towel and take your child to the emergency department immediately.

If a person is bitten by a scorpion, the area of ​​the bite will ache, become inflamed or red, depending on the species of scorpion that has stung. More severe reactions to scorpion venom, which affect more parts of the body, may also occur.

Since it is very difficult to distinguish between a dangerous and a harmless scorpion, all scorpion bites should be treated by a doctor or pediatrician. If it is possible to capture the scorpion without incurring unnecessary risks, it is best to capture it and take it to the pediatrician so that he can identify it. Knowing what kind of scorpion has stung your child can facilitate your treatment.

How to act against a tick bite

After returning from wooded areas (or nearby), carefully inspect the body of your children and their pets for ticks. Ticks that are removed within 24 to 48 hours of being hooked to the skin are very likely to transmit Lyme disease. The most common ticks are those of dogs and those of deer (the latter are those that can transmit Lyme disease).

If you detect a tick in your child, do the following:

  • Call the pediatrician, who may prefer that you store the tick in an airtight container or bag for later identification.
  • Use tweezers to hold the tick well by the head or mouth, near the skin.
  • Pull the tick hard outward until it detaches from the child's skin (do not rotate the tweezers or twist the tick's body sharply), then apply alcohol to the area of ​​the bite.
  • Do not use petroleum jelly or light a match to kill and extract ticks. These methods do not serve to extract ticks from the skin and, in addition, can cause these arachnids to sink deeper into the skin and secrete more saliva, which increases the chances of disease transmission.

How to prevent bites

Here are some steps you can take to protect your family from bug bites:

  • Avoid flea infestations by treating your home (including all carpets and carpets, furniture and pets) regularly during the hottest months. Frequent vacuuming can also help.
  • Avoid mosquitoes by staying away from areas where they proliferate, such as lakes and ponds or any other form of standing water, during the hot season. Remove standing water from bird baths, household buckets, pot dishes, etc., try not to go outside when mosquitoes are most active (at dawn and dusk), and apply insect repellent to your children when they have to go abroad.
  • When visiting an area where ticks abound, try to walk along the central part of paths and roads and avoid wooded areas and tall grass. Thoroughly inspect your children's bodies for ticks every few hours and as soon as they arrive inside. Remove immediately all the ticks that you detect in the body of your children. The places that should be fixed the most are: behind the ears, on the scalp, the nape, the armpits, the groin and behind the knees. Ask your children to shower as soon as they arrive inside. If they have a pet, examine her too. Use special products for pets so that they don't get bitten by ticks.
  • Use an insect repellent when you plan to be outdoors, for example, when going to the beach, hiking or camping. Repellents containing between 10% and 30% DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) are approved for use with mosquitoes, ticks and other bugs. Repellents containing picaridine (KBR 3023) or lemon eucalyptus oil (p-menthane 3,8-diol or PMD) are effective against mosquitoes. Follow the instructions in the leaflet carefully and do not apply to your children more than the amount indicated (applying more than necessary will not protect them more). Reapply the repellent after they bathe, following the instructions in the leaflet instructions.
  • When you or your children are in wooded areas, put the shirt inside the pants, the legs of the pants inside the socks and the sleeves of the shirt inside the gloves and try to cover yourself to the maximum. Wear shoes and socks to walk on the grass, if only momentarily. They could sting bees or wasps on bare feet.
  • Put on gloves when gardening.
  • Do not handle bee hives or wasp nests or disturb their occupants.
  • Do not swipe or try to crush insects that are buzzing, they could be bitten if they felt threatened.
  • Keep in mind that there may be spiders in woodpiles, boxes that are rarely opened or corners covered by furniture, so that they act with caution in such situations.