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Insect Bites Treatment Overview

Find the right care and learn about different treatments.
Reviewed by Buoy's medical team
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Care Plan


First steps to consider

  • Most bug bites can be treated at home with OTC anti-itch cream like calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream.
  • An antihistamine, like Zyrtec or Claritin, can also help with itching or mild allergic reactions.
  • Applying cold packs to the bite or sting site can help.

When you may need a provider

  • You have tried home treatments for more than 3 days and they are not helping.
  • You develop a rash with intense itching, or a rash that has a bullseye.
  • You find a tick that you think has been on you for more than 36 hours
  • The area around the bite has become painful, swollen, red, and warm to the touch.

Emergency Care

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Go to the ER if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling of your mouth or throat
  • Vomiting or abdominal pain
  • Fever or chills, body aches, joint pain, fatigue, and headaches
  • Intense pain where you were bitten
  • You think you may have been bitten by a widow or recluse spider.

The suppliers listed follow Buoy’s clinical guidelines, but listing the suppliers does not constitute a referral or recommendation by Buoy. When you click on the link and/or engage with these services Buoy will be compensated.

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All treatments for insect bites
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Every treatment shown on this site is evaluated by our medical team and must pass Buoy's clinical review.
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Frequently asked questions