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Don't Let Bug Bites Ruin Your Spring

By Donna Stark

Now that spring is here, many of us will be venturing outdoors and spending more time with Mother Nature. That means we'll be hiking, fishing, gardening, and playing in the grass. It also means we will be entering a world that is filled with spiders, insects, and all sorts of other creepy crawlies. While we may be able to avoid many of these creatures during our outdoor adventures, there is still a risk our paths will cross, and if that happens, the chances of getting bitten are high. 

Here are some tips on how to deal with a bite if you or a loved one walk away from an unfortunate meeting with an extra bump on your body.

Mild Bites and Symptoms

Most bug bites and stings are mild and can easily be treated at home. The symptoms (swelling, itching, and stinging and burning sensations) may last for a couple of days but they generally don't cause any permanent damage. When a bite or sting does happen, follow the suggestions below.

  • Move to a safe spot
  • If there is a stinger, remove it as carefully as you can
  • Wash the area with soap and water
  • Apply a cold compress for 10 to 20 minutes
  • Reduce itching with calamine lotion, hydrocortisone cream, or a baking soda paste
  • Soak in a warm oatmeal bath
  • Apply bandages to avoid scratching and infection

Serious Bites and Red Flags to Watch For

Of course, you should always monitor the bite just in case it decides to become more of a problem than you wanted it to be. And how do you know if that is the case? Take a look at the following red flags and then take action if they occur!

  • Rashes - If you or a loved one starts to develop a rash around the bug bite or on the body, you may need antibiotics for treatment. Keep an eye out for any skin changes.
  • Swelling and trouble breathing - Minor swelling around the bite is normal but if your lips, eyelids, or throat start to swell, or if you have trouble breathing, get help right away!
  • Signs of spreading or infection - If the redness around the bite begins to spread or if the bite begins to ooze, that could mean an infection has set in. It's vital to seek medical care as soon as you can after noticing these signs.

Enjoying Bugs and Insects From a Distance

Don't let the threat of a bug bite keep you from enjoying the outdoors. Just be sure you know how to treat one if it were to occur and try to keep your distance. Remember, the only bug bite that is good is the one that doesn't happen at all!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in McAllen, Tex.

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