Insect and Animal Bites

Many people have been bitten or stung by insects. Flies, bees, wasps, ants, and a variety of bugs are typically the culprits. Insects inject our bodies with venom and other proteins with their bites and stings. They transfer this through their saliva which can results in symptoms such as swelling, pain, itching, and skin redness. Symptoms can come in a multitude of forms as well as severities depending on the insect. Allergic reactions can also occur from certain insect stings and bites. The two most common insects in which people are allergic to are wasps and bees. Severe allergic reactions to these insects include; hives, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, swelling of the face (including the lips and throat), breathing complications, and shock. If you see someone experience these symptoms after being stung or bitten by an insect, particularly a wasp or bee, contact medical emergency services. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that affects different and multiple parts of the body. If not treated properly, it can become a life-threatening issue.

If you have ever been stung or bitten by an insect and experienced a severe reaction, it would be a good idea to ask your doctor to perform an allergy test. If the doctor issues a diagnosis with a severe allergy, they will most likely prescribe the medication epinephrine. Epinephrine auto-injector is preloaded with the medicine. It is to be injected into your outer thigh muscle. The medicine raises your blood pressure which stimulates your heart. This will help the swelling of the airways to reduce making breathing easier. If this is your diagnosis, make sure to carry the injection with you at all times. When you are outdoors, it is especially important to ensure that you are equipped with the auto-injector.

Seeking emergency medical attention is the best step to take if someone is showing signs of a severe allergic reaction. If they are not showing signs of a sever reaction, it is possible to treat the bite or sting for minor symptoms. Should the insect’s stinger still be embedded in the skin, you can remove it using a flat-edged object to gently scrape it across their skin. Tweezers will not effectively remove a stinger without releasing more venom into the body. You should then wash the area with soap and water. Calamine lotion, an antihistamine cream, will cure the bite or sting if it is applied regularly.

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