Insect Bites Treatment Overview
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.
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.
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