Insect and spider bites often cause minor
swelling, redness, pain, and itching. These mild reactions are common and may
last from a few hours to a few days. Home treatment is often all that is needed
to relieve the symptoms of a mild reaction to
common stinging or biting insects and spiders.
Some people have more severe reactions to bites or stings. Babies and
children may be more affected by bites or stings than adults.
Examples of problems that are more serious include:
Check your symptoms to decide if and when you
should see a doctor.
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Most bites and stings will
heal on their own without a visit to a doctor. There are several things you can
do to relieve pain and itching and prevent infection from a bite or
Insect or spider bites or stings or contact with caterpillars
Relieve pain, itching, and swelling
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
Prevent a skin infection
For home treatment of lice, scabies, tick bites, bedbugs, or kissing bugs,
see the topics
Bedbugs, and Kissing Bugs.
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home
Take the following measures to help
prevent bites and stings.
Additional measures include those to:
If you have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to
bites or stings in the past:
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
You can help your
doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the
October 25, 2012
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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