Marla Ahlgrimm | Bug Bites And Spring

Marla AhlgrimmNow that we are all planted firmly at home, many of us are spending more time in the back yard. And according to Marla Ahlgrimm, that means that more of us are getting bitten by bugs. Do you know how to treat common insect bites and stings? Ahlgrimm answers your questions below.

Q: How concerning are bug bites?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Most are mild and cause very few symptoms beyond slight swelling and a temporary and annoying itch. However, rarely, wasp and hornet stings can cause a more significant reaction, including cellulitis and staph infection. Some insects, including mosquitoes and ticks, also carry diseases like West Nile virus and Lyme disease.

Q: How do you treat an insect bite?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Your first step is to avoid additional bites. Move indoors if possible. Next, look for a stinger. If it is still intact, remove it. Once physical traces of the bug are gone, wash the area with warm water and soap. Next, grab a washcloth dipped in cold water or fill a plastic bag with ice and apply a cold compress to the area.

Q: Should I take an antihistamine?

Marla Ahlgrimm: If the bite swells or inches for more than just a few minutes, you can take an over-the-counter antihistamine, such as Benadryl. You can also use calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream to alleviate itch externally. An old home remedy is to create a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the affected area three or four times each day.

Marla AhlgrimmQ: What is considered a severe insect bite reaction?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Allergic reaction in sensitive people may result in difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, or fainting. Some individuals may also experience extreme cramps and hives. If you live in an area with scorpions or venomous spiders and your child is bitten, you should seek  immediate medical attention for them.

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