2018 Summer Guide to Bug Bites

 

It’s summer time, which means you’re probably going to be spending a lot more time enjoying outdoor activities. It also means you’re more susceptible to those annoying summer bug bites. Knowing there are tons of pesky critters that could get to you this summer, we decided to put together a bug-bite guide to help you differentiate between the kinds of bug bites, their symptoms, and how best to treat them.

 

Mosquito

  • These are amongst the most common type of bug bite you will probably encounter.
  • Symptoms: These bites may swell and are extremely itchy.
  • How to treat: A paste made from baking soda and water will help to relieve itching.
  • Fun fact! Dryer sheets make a great mosquito repellant without the chemicals or nasty smell!

Fire Ant Bites

  • Accidentally stepping in a fire ant bed can be extremely painful.
  • Symptoms: Fire ant bites usually burn or sting first and then become itchy; then they develop into a little blister within a few hours.
  • How to treat: Be sure to not pop the blisters. Over-the-counter pain relievers and antihistamine can be used for pain or itching.

Ticks

  • These little critters get under your skin – literally. Commonly found in grassy or wooded areas, ticks like to latch on to warm, moist areas, so you will likely find them in areas such as the scalp, armpit, or other skin folds.
  • Symptoms: When ticks latch on to you, you don’t feel a bite. So, it’s important to always check your body for ticks after spending time in grassy or wooded areas.
  • How to treat: You want to be careful when removing a tick from your skin. Using pointed tweezers, grab the tick close to the skin, and pull it straight out. Make sure to be gentile and steady so you do not leave fragments of the tick in your skin. Once properly removed, wash the bite to avoid infection. Since ticks can carry Lyme Disease, save the tick in a plastic bag should you have to later identify the bug.

Lice

  • Lice are extremely contagious and like to hide in the head and neck area of the scalp. They can be transferred from contact and sharing things like a hat, brush, or other hygiene products.
  • Symptoms: Itchy head
  • How to treat: Lice is typically treated with an over-the-counter shampoo or ointment that kills the lice. Most importantly, wash all closing and bedding that has come in contact with the infected person.

Fleas

  • Fleas won’t only attack your dogs, they can like people too!
  • Symptoms: Flea bites are extremely itchy.
  • How to treat: To soothe the itch, try applying an anti-itch cream or antihistamine.

Bee/Wasp Stings

  • Bee and wasp stings are very similar in nature, the only difference is that bee’s leave their stinger behind in the wound.
  • Symptoms: Painful, red, swollen sting.
  • How to treat: It is important to remove them as quickly as possible, clean the area with soap and water, and ice the sting for several minutes. If pain is really bad, acetaminophen or ibuprofen will help.
  • Watch for any allergic reactions from the sting! If noticed, call the doctor! Usually an antihistamine will counter-act the reaction.

Chiggers

  • Chiggers are a type of mite that are very small to identify from the naked eye. These bites appear in groups or clusters, and typically appear in areas such as ankles, wrists, behind the knees, or in the armpit.
  • Symptoms: Itching typically occurs 1-3 hours after being bitten and lasts 1-2 days.
  • How to treat: A cool compress, ice, calamine lotion, or Benadryl can be used for symptom relief.

Scabies

  • Scabies are a relentless, highly contagious rash caused by mites.
  • Symptoms: The rash will appear as small red bumps or blisters, often between the fingers, on the elbows, knees, wrists, backs of feet, or buttocks. It is possible to be infected with scabies and not show signs of symptoms for up to two months.
  • How to treat: Scabies must be treated by a prescription from a doctor. If you see symptoms that resemble scabies, visit come into our office immediately!

Puss Caterpillar

  • While this kind of bite is uncommon, there have been reports in the area of people who have been infected by these poisonous caterpillars. Puss caterpillars can be found in big trees or shrubbery, such as an oak tree, as this is what they like to feed on.
  • Symptoms: Should you get bitten, you should expect waves of pain, rash, and potentially fever, vomiting and muscle cramps.
  • How to treat: If these symptoms occur, be sure to contact your doctor immediately.

Now you’re ready to take on the summer bug bites! If you have any questions, feel free to contact one of our offices!

Resource: www.medicinenet.com