Insect bite identification in the form of pictures, symptoms and treatment options are discussed in this article.
Sustaining an insect bite typically occurs when the insect is threatened or provoked. It could also be the insect’s means to get nourishment. Insect bites could cause mild to severe symptoms which may resolve in a few days or longer. The substances released by insects through their bites could sometimes cause severe reactions, most especially to allergic individuals. These reactions could eventually lead to more serious medical complications and even death if not treated right away.
An insect bite can be treated in various ways, depending on the insect, amount of venom injected and sensitivity of the individual to the bite. Some bites get resolved with typical home care treatment white others may need special medications and even hospitalization to treat the accompanying symptoms.
What prompts insects to bite?
There are two reasons why people or animals are bitten by insects. First, insects bite when they sense danger or feel provoked. Second, an insect bites for nourishment. Whether they bite in self-defense or to feed, the insects’ saliva contains substances that cause reactions and systemic symptoms to their prey. It even has anesthetic properties to allow them to inject their venom without being noticed by the victims. The venom injected by insects through biting are capable of causing serious reactions to some individuals, making it extremely important to become familiar with common insect bites so that proper treatment could be given.
Insect bite identification
An insect bite is often distinguishable by the redness, itchiness and swelling on the bite site. Pain and tingling sensation could also be felt. Systemic symptoms often vary relative to the person’s sensitivity to bite. Also, scratching may aggravate the swelling and itchiness, thereby resulting in lesions, infections or ulcerations.
Here are some of the more common and annoying insect bites inflicted on humans.
- Mosquito bite
Mosquitoes bite humans to get nourished. Their bite is notorious for carrying various diseases, so this shouldn’t be ignored if symptoms develop. Here is more information on mosquito bites .
- Bedbug bite
This bite is among the leading spoilers of a good night sleep. Bedbugs get their food at night and thrive in mattresses and beddings. Here is information on bed bug bites .
- Flea bite
Bites from fleas are harmless but cause infuriating itchiness and unsightly red bumps on the skin surface. The flea’s favorite hosts are warm-blooded creatures like humans. Her is information on flee sting on humans
- Chiggers bite
Chiggers are a small type of mites which cause extremely itchy red lumps on the skin. Intense scratching causes the skin to become infected. Here is information on chigger bite.
- Spider bite
Spiders do not usually bite humans unless they are provoked or they sense some danger. Most bites are harmless but some are extremely dangerous such as those from the brown recluse spider and black widow spider. The venom of these species of spiders can cause serious symptoms as a result of allergic reaction. Without prompt treatment, the victim could experience anaphylaxis – a severe form of allergic reaction caused by a spider bite. Among the symptoms to watch out for include nausea, fever, chills, severe headache and painful cramps. Here is information on spider bites .
- Bee sting
The painful swelling of the skin due to a bee sting shouldn’t last long unless the victim is allergic to the venom. In which case, a sting from a bee could be very dangerous and fatal. Wasp sting is compared to be twice as powerful as bee sting. Here is information on wasp sting bite .
- Tick bite
This insect bite, particularly one from the deer tick, is the main culprit for Lyme disease. It causes bulls-eye skin rashes and is often acquired after spending some time in tick-infested areas.
It should be noted that a harmless or less dangerous insect bite could have serious complications among allergic individuals. That is why it is important to bring the victims immediately to the hospital if they experience breathing difficulties, abdominal pain and facial swelling.
Insect bite treatment
An insect bite needs immediate action, whether or not the offending insect is poisonous or not.
- Move to a safer area
This should be done to avoid sustaining additional bites or stings.
- Remove the insect or stinger of the insect properly
The insect or stinger of the offending insect should be removed properly. For instance, improper removal of the stinger could introduce more venom into the skin. On the other hand, a traumatized tick urges it to release infected blood into the skin of the victim.
- Clean the injury site
The injury site should be washed with water and soap to avoid the bacteria present in the skin surface to get into the wound and cause infection.
- Apply cold compress
Cold compress, either by an ice pack or an ice wrapped in cloth, helps in relieving swelling and pain.
- Use topical cream or ointment
Topical creams, ointments or lotions will help in relieving itchiness and pain.
- Take appropriate medications
Pain relievers and antihistamines can be used in relieving pain and mild reactions. These should be taken cautiously especially among allergic individuals.
It would be best to seek medical advice for an insect bite after getting first aid treatment to get a definitive diagnosis and prevent serious complications from developing.