Dr. Tom Miller talks to Dr. Mark Eliason about the body’s defenses when it comes to bug bites, how you can treat most bites safely at home, and when you should seek treatment from a … I'm Dr. Tom Miller. People can get reactions that range from the size of a dime to the size of your hand, and even though it's large and it can be very frightening to see that, it often is something that is self-resolving, and it will get better whether it's treated or not. This can lead to an infection. No matter the severity, impetigo is usually not dangerous and can be treated with antibiotics. Therefore, medicines that are antihistamines such as Benadryl and Allegra and Zyrtec are my first-line treatments for these. Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of your skin and surrounding tissue. It’s not contagious. Find a doctor or location close to you so you can get the health care you need, when you need it. I did what any mom does in this day and age of social media, I posted a photo of his legs on Facebook. But that…, A lionfish sting isn’t typically life threatening to healthy individuals, but it can be painful. Try the following for relief: In many cases, an infected bug bite will need an antibiotic. But if one gets infected, you might also have: Bug bites can often cause a lot of itching. Read on to learn more about symptoms and how to prevent bug bites. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency. But some bug bites do need treatment: Some bug bites can also become infected. You should see a doctor if: In the beginning of an infection, you may be able to treat it at home. So an average-sized adult could actually take safely more than one Benadryl. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. You may be able to try over-the-counter antibiotic ointment first if your symptoms are not severe or systemic (such as a fever). Bug bites can be annoying, but most are harmless and you’ll just have a few days of itching. Lymphangitis can be treated with antibiotics. Although rare, a bee sting may be infected even if it appears to be healing. Untreated or severe cellulitis can cause blood poisoning. The most common infections of bug bites include: Impetigo is a skin infection. His bug bites were warm to the touch and much of his leg was red. Announcer: Have a question about a medical procedure? Those are things that need to be addressed by a physician. Call a doctor if you’re not sure. Read more to learn whether your bee sting has become infected. How to tell if an insect bite is infected, When to go to the doctor for an infected bug bite or sting, over-the-counter (OTC) antibiotic ointments, Other times you should see a doctor following an insect bite, Wasp Stings: Reaction Symptoms and Treatment. Dr. Miller: You've had a big reaction to a bug bite. You should also see a doctor if after a bite or sting if you: Additionally, get emergency medical treatment if you have symptoms of anaphylaxis, an emergency condition. For the first few days, you might notice that the skin around the bite is hot to the touch—but if the skin remains inflamed and warm after several days, you could be dealing with an infected bite that requires antibiotics. The sores may be mild and contained to one area or more widespread. The non-sedating antihistamines like Zyrtec and Allegra are designed to stay in our system a little bit longer, that means it takes a little bit more time for them to have an effect, and so most people may take a whole day after they take those before they can see swelling improve. Keep the bite and any other infected areas covered. While most bug bites cause only mild symptoms, some bug bites can transmit disease. Dr. Eliason: Sure. originally published: March 3, 2015. Cellulitis can usually be treated with antibiotics. While most bug bites cause only mild symptoms, some bug bites can transmit disease. All clinical services and programs are part of University of Utah Health Hospitals and Clinics. Announcer: Access to our experts with in-depth information about the biggest health issues facing you today. Dr. Miller: Mark, depending on which antihistamine you take, whether that's sedating or non-sedating, how quickly should you see a response in reducing the size of the bite? Dr. Miller: So you might think that there would be an infection though it wouldn't be very common if the redness started to spread up the arm or if you developed a fever or if you had some of the other signs of infection, then at that point you should probably be seen by a physician. Dr. Miller: Now what kinds of medications other than antibiotics might affect or help with this kind of a large reaction? updated: July 2, 2019 Weekly emails of the latest news from The Scope Radio. Dr. Tom Miller talks to Dr. Mark Eliason about the body’s defenses when it comes to bug bites, how you can treat most bites safely at home, and when you should seek treatment from a physician.
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