What is an Insect Bite?
Insect or bug bites and stings result in an allergic reaction to venom injected by the insect’s mouth or stinger. This can result in immediate redness and swelling and can later cause itching and soreness. Some insects like mosquitos and ticks can spread diseases and cause further complications.
Common Types of Insect Bites
Not everyone has the chance to witness the bug that bit or stung them, making it difficult to determine what type of bite they are experiencing. Some bugs can be avoided, but others might be living in your house or even on you and the bites will keep occurring. Determining what type of bite you’re experiencing can help you avoid future ones.
Mosquito bites are common and will result in a raised, itchy bump on the skin. the bite can occur on any area of the body but is common on highly exposed areas such as the feet, legs, and arms. Mosquito bites usually occur as a single bite, or can sometimes occur in groups as one mosquito can bite several times.
A tick bite can produce pain and swelling and will rarely occur in groups. Ticks can spread Lyme disease that results in a rash that looks like a bull’s eye. Ticks can be identified by their flat, teardrop-shaped bodies that are brown or reddish in color. They can become round and full if they have just bitten.
A spider bite could be identified by two puncture marks in the skin. The surrounding area might become red and blister. Pain and itching will also be present at the site. Spider bites are harmless unless from a venomous spider like the black widow or brown recluse.
Bedbugs can be hard to spot since they only come out at night, but the bites you wake up with will be noticeable. Bedbug bites occur in groups and cause small red bumps that are often itchy. Bedbugs hide in and around your mattress and hitch a ride in suitcases, clothes, and bedding.
Fleas can leave an itchy welt on the skin and often appear on the legs or ankles. While fleas do not like to live on people, they do like live on your pet and can hide and multiply very quickly. Fleas do not fly, but you might see them jumping from their host.
Chigger bites can appear as groups of welts, blisters, and hives that are extremely itchy. Chiggers target the folds of the skin or areas where clothing is tight.
Lice can hide in your hair and behind your ears. Lice can be obtained by sharing a hairbrush, hat, or another item with someone who had it. The bites from lice will result in extreme scalp itching.
Horseflies and houseflies can create a painful bite. The bite often appears as a welt and will become very itchy. It is important not to itch the site as this can spread bacteria, commonly carried by flies.
Insect Bite Treatment and Prevention
Most insect bites can be treated at home by washing the area and avoiding scratching. Itching can be controlled with an antihistamine or anti-itch ointment. An ice pack can also be used to reduce redness and swelling. If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction or infection or believe you were bitten by something verminous, seek immediate care.
If you need help identifying a bug bite or are seeking treatment for bug bite symptoms, contact Springfield Urgent Care.