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Insect Bites & Stings

While most insect bites and stings are nothing but an uncomfortable nuisance, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, insect bites cause dangerous allergic reactions and infections. When that happens, it’s important to seek medical care.

If you have any symptoms that indicate an emergency after an insect bite, visit Legacy ER & Urgent Care. Our six ER and urgent care facilities are staffed with ER-trained physicians who can provide immediate insect bite treatment.

When to Call 911 or Go to the ER for Insect Bites and Stings

Insect BiteIf you have been bitten or stung by an insect, look for signs that it’s a medical emergency. Go to the emergency room or call 911 if you experience:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Tingling, tightness, or swelling in the throat, eyelids, or lips
  • Dizziness
  • Faintness
  • Confusion
  • Hives
  • Fever and chills
  • Increased pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Red streaks running from the bite
  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Vomiting

Also, if a child has been stung by a scorpion, visit the emergency room immediately.

Insect Bite Treatment at Home

If your insect bite isn’t a medical emergency, you can treat it at home. While many people begin by identifying insect bites pictures, that’s normally not necessary. Instead, mild insect bites and stings generally respond to the same basic treatment.

You’ll need to:

  • Thoroughly clean the bite with water and soap.
  • Cover the bite.
  • Reduce swelling with ice packs.
  • Alleviate itching with topical hydrocortisone ointment and calamine lotion.
  • Reduce swelling and itching by taking an antihistamine.

Medical Insect Bite Treatment

If you have a medical emergency, you will need to call 911 or visit the emergency room. First, assess your symptoms to determine if you’re having an allergic attack. If you are, use your epinephrine autoinjector to treat it and then proceed to the emergency room.

Your insect bite treatment might include using an antibiotic ointment or taking oral antibiotics. In addition, if the insect bite or sting caused an abscess, the physician will need to drain it.

Also, your physician will evaluate you for symptoms of diseases caused by bug and insect bites, such as the West Nile virus and malaria. To determine your risk, your doctor will go over your travel history.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency after a bug or insect bite, don’t wait to see if it gets better. Your condition can worsen quickly, so visit Legacy ER & Urgent Care or call 911 immediately.