Insect Bite

Insect bites and stings may inject venom or other substances into skin that result in a variety of symptoms. Severe reactions include:

  • Hives, nausea, cramps, vomiting, or a rapid heartbeat,
  • Involuntary muscle movement
  • Swelling of the lips or throat, difficulty breathing, dizziness, faintness, and confusion
  • Anaphylactic Shock

If any of these symptoms are present, call 911 or emergency medical assistance immediately. Typical reactions are mild and include local itching, stinging, and swelling. These symptoms typically subside within 48 hours.

First aid for insect bites begins with

  • Removing any insect parts from the site and cleaning the area with soap and water.
  • Use ice to reduce pain and control swelling.
  • Apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to the bite or sting several times daily and take an antihistamine as needed to reduce swelling and prevent allergic reactions until symptoms subside.

In some cases, delayed symptoms such as hives, fever, swollen glands, and joint pain may occur. A person experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention from their health care provider.

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Brown Recluse Spider Bite

Brown Recluse Spider bites usually occur in bed or after putting on clothes. The bite is typically painless. Symptoms of a Brown Recluse Spider bite include:

  • A local stinging pain
  • Six to eight hours after being bitten, aching and itching develop at the site.
  • Within three days an ulcer may develop.
  • If left untreated, in two to five weeks the bite will produce a noticeable hole.

First aid for a brown recluse spider bite starts with

  • Cleaning the area around the wound with mild soap and water.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment to the location of the bite.
  • Use ice to control swelling, and
  • Elevate the bite if it is located on a limb such as an arm or leg.

If you have been bitten by a Brown Recluse Spider, seek medical attention as soon as possible.  Venom from an untreated brown recluse spider bite causes skin tissue to die which may result in scarring. Some bites have also caused kidney failure and death in small children.  If you kill a spider that has bitten you, place the spider in a small jar, plastic bag, or other small container and bring it to your health care provider for identification.

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