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How to Handle Insect Bites

By Lana Bandoim

From camping in the woods to hiking in a park, summer can be the perfect time to explore nature. However, it can also increase the risk of insect bites. Whether your kids are complaining about mosquitoes or bees, the following tips will make handling insect bites easier.  

Avoid the Problems

Try to avoid insect bites as much as possible while you are outside. Use safe insect repellants and sprays. Wear shoes, socks and long-sleeved shirts. Pay attention to your surroundings and do not step on insect nests.

Try to wear white or lighter colors because mosquitoes tend to be attracted to darker colors. Avoid tall grass or other areas that are more likely to have insects. Time your hikes and excursions so mosquito activity is low. For example, avoid hiking during dusk hours because mosquitoes tend to be the most active during this time.

Prepare for Reactions

It is important to be prepared for possible allergic reactions. Make sure you have the right medications and know how to administer them. Common treatments for insect bites may include antihistamines and epinephrine. Creams and gels may also help treat some types of bug bites.

Handle the Bites

If there is a stinger left in the skin, try to remove it with clean hands and sanitized tweezers. Get medical help if you are not able to remove the stingers. Keep the affected area of the skin clean with soap and water. Teach children not to scratch the bites because this increases the risk of infection.

Deal With the Pain

Cold compresses may provide some pain relief after a bug bite. Ice packs can also be used for up to 20 minutes each hour. In addition, some creams and gels have lidocaine that can fight pain. Hydrocortisone creams are a popular treatment option for insect bites. Consider using over-the-counter pain relievers in severe cases. Try to elevate the area that has been bitten to reduce swelling and inflammation.

Get Help

Bug bites are annoying, but they usually heal quickly. However, some people may have a more serious reaction or an infection that requires additional medical help. If you have problems breathing, dizziness, nausea, confusion, fainting or other severe symptoms, then go to a hospital or see a doctor.

Pay attention to insect bites this summer. Do not ignore the bites and get medical help if the symptoms continue to get worse.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Rock Hill, S.C.

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