Insect Bites and Stings Treatment | Medical Advice Now

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Insect Bites and Stings Treatment

Insect Bites and Stings TreatmentIn brief, this article will discuss the differences between insect bites and stings. It will also discuss insect bites and strings treatment as well.

Insect stings


Usually bee and wasp stings lead to a mild local skin reaction. Treatment for this is as follows. For example: 

  • Use a cold compress to ease pain and also reduce swelling as well.
  • Use a painkiller.
  • For itching, you can use a steroid cream. For example, creams such as hydrocortisone. Furthermore, antihistamine tablets are also helpful as well. But, the itching may take time to subside.

Bee stings

In addition to the above steps, if the stinger is still in place you will need to scrape it out as well. Use the edge of a knife or a credit card to scrape out the stinger. Also, it’s important to make sure you do not grab the stinger or squeeze it. As a result, this could release more venom into the skin.

To note, wasps do not leave stingers.

Localized allergic reaction

Typically, if you have an allergic reaction to a sting, you will notice swelling at the site. Additionally, the swelling will become larger over the first few hours and then subside. Unless the swelling is on your face and affects your airway, it is not dangerous. To manage the allergy, you could do the following. For example:

  • Take an antihistamine tablet as soon as possible
  • Apply a cold compress to ease the pain and also minimize swelling as well
  • Take painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen

Generalized allergic reaction

Rarely, insect stings may cause a serious reaction. This happens most often in reaction to wasp stings. A severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis, which can be fatal. 


  • Itchy skin followed by an itchy blotchy rash that can appear anywhere.
  • Swelling on the face, which may extend to the lips. It may also extend to the tongue, throat and upper airway as well.
  • Abdominal cramps.
  • Nausea.
  • Dilation of the blood vessels, which can cause:
    • Redness of the skin.
    • Rapid heart rate.
    • Low blood pressure, which can make you feel faint.
  • Wheezing or difficulty in breathing.

Further, a severe generalized reaction will usually develop within 10 minutes of a sting. You must call an ambulance immediately on noticing symptoms of a severe reaction. Above all, if you have an Epi pen, use it immediately.

When to seek medical advice?

If the sting looks infected or you think you are having a severe allergic reaction, seek medical help. 

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Insect bites


The treatment is the same as that for stings. But, there is no need to worry about the stinger.

When to seek medical advice?

If the bite looks infected or you think you are having an allergic reaction, it is important to get medical advice from your doctor.

What insect bites cause swelling?

Bites from midges, gnats, and mosquitoes can cause swelling or bumps. Additionally, bites from flies, mites, ticks, fleas, and bedbugs can also cause swelling as well.

How do you know if a bite or sting is infected?

If the area is red and tender with a yellow discharge or pus, it is likely infected. Thus, you may need a course of antibiotics to help clear it.

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