Bug Off!

posted in: Health Tips | 0

Avoiding and Treating Insect Bites and Stings4.2.15 Blog Photo_smaller

Spring has sprung! And with warm weather comes tulips, daises… and unwanted pests.

White-Wilson has some tips to help prevent stings and bites, as well as what to do if you are stung.

In Florida, it’s nearly impossible to avoid bug bites and stings.

Tips to avoid the itch:

  • Apply insect repellent that contains DEET before going into heavily wooded areas. Be sure to watch DEET amounts with young children! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using repellents that contain no more than 30% DEET on children, and never applying on babies younger than 2 months.
  • Avoid large beds of flowers, standing puddles and ponds.
  • You are not the only one that loves some sugar! Try to keep sugary snacks or drinks inside.
  • Wear neutral colored clothing, since vibrant colors attract certain insects.

Although insect stings can be irritating, most cases are mild with little stinging, itching, redness and swelling.

Here are some tips to take care of mild reactions:

  • First and foremost, move to a safe area—indoors if possible.
  • If needed, remove the stinger in a quick, scraping motion.
  • Wash the area several times with soap and water.
  • Apply an ice pack or a cold, wet washcloth to reduce swelling.
  • Apply a topical ointment to the effected area. Products containing ingredients such as hydrocortisone, or pramoxine can assist in pain management. Creams such as calamine lotion or baking soda will help relieve the itch.

Signs of a bite or sting should disappear in a day or two. If symptoms remain longer, call your doctor or go to an immediate care facility.

Take immediate action if the following occurs after a sting:

  • Difficulty breathing, wheezing, tight chest.
  • Hives or swelling of the face or mouth.
  • Dizziness, fainting or rapid heartbeat.
  • Nausea, cramps or vomiting.

If you’re ever unsure about the condition of an insect sting or bite, contact your doctor or call 911 in an emergency. White-Wilson Immediate Care Clinic offers same day appointments and accepts walk-ins.