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Insect Bites

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Last updated November 1, 2021

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Get a thorough self-assessment before your visit to the doctor.

What are insect bites?

Mosquitoes, spiders, black flies, ticks, bed bugs—these are a handful of the insects that can bite us and leave at best an unpleasant reaction, and at worst, a serious illness.

Insect bites are often itchy, which is because your body is reacting to proteins in the bug’s saliva. It causes an allergic reaction that can vary from mild to severe, depending on the insect and the individual person.

Mosquitoes and bed bugs are common causes of intense bite reactions. Children are more likely to have more intense reactions than adults because of their strong immune response.

In some cases, insect bites can trigger more serious illnesses, such as tick bites and Lyme disease. Check for unusual patterns in the rash. For instance, some tick bites may be accompanied by a rash that looks like a bull’s eye.

Bed bug bites appear in clusters. It is important to recognize bed bug bites because your home needs to be thoroughly examined and exterminated to get rid of the bugs.



See a doctor if the rash doesn’t go away, the itching is severe, or the rash seems to be getting worse. An ice pack, OTC anti-itch cream (Sarna), hydrocortisone cream, or antihistamines can help relieve the bites and itching.

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