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When Should I Visit the Doctor for Bug Bites? - Legacy ER

  • Category: Injuries
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Jay Woody

Infections, Bug Stings and Insect Bites

Most insect stings and bug bites will leave a mark and hurt for roughly five to ten days after the initial point of contact. For the most part, they usually do not require medical attention. Typical reactions to insect bites or bug stings include itchiness, pain, and a welt less than half an inch in size.

However, you should make sure to  avoid scratching these welts. If they break due to excessive scratching, bacteria can enter the wound, causing infection. Some symptoms of an infected bug bite often involve increased pain, tenderness, the area feeling warm, or oozing fluid or pus.

Insect Bites

While cleaning the area can help reduce bacterial growth under the skin, there are  signs you should watch out for that indicate your insect bite or sting has turned into a medical emergency:

  • Chills or fever, especially a fever over 100-degrees 
  • A child with an infected bite 
  • Red streaks extending from the bite 
  • Soreness or abscesses around the bite 
  • An infection does not get better after using the antibiotic ointment for 48 hours. 

Typically, scratched bug bites are treated with antibiotics. However, experiencing these symptoms means you should see a doctor to prevent the infection from becoming worse.

Additional Reasons to See a Doctor for a Bug Bite

It’s essential to keep in mind that there are different types of bug bites and insect stings, resulting in various symptoms or other health concerns.

First, you should watch out for flu-like symptoms after a mosquito bite, as it might indicate  West Nile virus or Malaria. While these illnesses are more common in other countries than in the U.S., it’s still a possibility to contract either of these conditions.

Secondly, most spider bites are not dangerous, but two species within North America can cause hospitalization. The first is the infamous Black Widow. With the iconic hourglass on the belly, a black widow isn’t an aggressive spider and only bites in self-defense. Their bites generally aren’t fatal, but they can cause various symptoms such as nausea, chills, difficulty breathing, increased blood pressure, sweating, and more. While these are not necessarily life-threatening, these conditions might result in hospitalization.

Then, there is the Brown Recluse spider, which is extremely dangerous. Its venom can leave behind a large skin lesion, which needs medical attention to treat.

In addition, certain people with allergies are at risk for anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction that spreads throughout the entire body. This kind of reaction is rare but can happen with any bug bite.

For instance, while a bee sting is not deadly to the everyday person,  a person with an allergy can be struck with anaphylaxis which can cause swelling, eventually closing the lung’s airways. So, if you feel any warning signs, such as itching all across your body or difficulty breathing, call 911 right away.  

Lyme disease is another medical emergency that should be carefully regarded. Infected ticks transfer this disease to humans, and it can become deadly if not treated immediately. If you notice that you’re developing a  bulls-eye rash, make sure to seek medical attention to prevent the disease from progressing. Other symptoms might include fever, chills, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, or swollen lymph nodes.

If you feel your condition is a true emergency, call 911. If you’re experiencing extreme pain or anaphylaxis, seek medical attention immediately and visit Legacy ER & Urgent Care 24 hours a day, year-round.

Legacy ER & Urgent Care is here to meet your medical care needs by providing affordable pricing and quality care. As part of Intuitive Health’s innovative hybrid model ER and urgent care system, patients are only billed for the level of care they receive from professional and highly trained medical staff. With a total of six centers located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, emergent and non-emergent care is accessible and transparent with a focus on superb customer service.

Find out more about Legacy ER & Urgent Care by visiting

Legacy ER & Urgent Care has six convenient locations in the DFW area:

  • Allen – Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 1310 W. Exchange Pkwy Allen, TX 75013, and may be reached at 972-526-5819.
  • Coppell – Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 330 S Denton Tap Rd Coppell, TX 75019 and may be reached at 469-702-9917.
  • Frisco East: Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 16151 Eldorado Pkwy Frisco, TX 75035 and may be reached at 972-526-7009.
  • Frisco West: Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 9205 Legacy Dr. Frisco, TX 75033, and may be reached at 972-526-7020.
  • McKinney – Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 2810 Hardin Blvd McKinney, TX 75072, and may be reached at 972-573-6688.
  • North Richland Hills: Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 8950 N. Tarrant Pkwy North Richland Hills, TX 76182, and may be reached at 817-663-1247