Bugs in general include all insects and insect-like invertebrates. An insect usually bites as part of its natural defence mechanism, or when it needs to feed itself from the bitten person.
Some bugs inject formic acid, causing immediate skin reactions, resulting in redness of the skin and swelling around the affected area. Most common bites from mosquitos and fleas cause more of an itching sensation rather than pain. Meanwhile, a sting by an ant, bee, wasp or a hornet is usually quite painful and can have severe allergic reactions.
Though, in most cases, insect bites and symptoms vary depending upon the species and the individual’s sensitivity. While one individual might just have a small itchy lump that fades in a day or two, another person can have a more serious reaction to the same bite.
Bugs are found all over the world, whether you’re indoors or outdoors. However, people who work outdoors or are more involved in outdoor activities are more likely to be a victim of a bug bite. Countries that are located far away from the equator, which includes many parts of Europe, northern USA and Canada, the risk of hazards posed by a bug bite is relatively small compared to countries located near the equator. For instance, the cases are more severe within African and India countries where diseases such as malaria, dengue and sleeping sickness pose great health hazards.
How to Prevent Bug Bites
Well, the best way is to avoid being bitten. Meanwhile, it is recommended that you dress in long pants and shirts with sleeves, use of insect repellents, and avoid areas where bugs live, usually woody, bushy and grassy spaces.
Use of barriers such as window screens and nettings come in real handy, while use of an insect repellent is highly recommended if other measures are not working out.
In addition, there shouldn’t be any containers with standing water as it acts as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. For instance, this would mean water in flower pots or coolers.
While during outdoor activities, ‘Permethrin’ should be applied to your camping gear, clothes and shoes as it repels and kills ticks, mosquitoes and other insects. Pre-treated clothing with permethrin is also commercially available.
What To Do in an Event of a Bug Bite
First thing you need to do if you’ve been bitten or stung is to get away from the situation to avoid further bites or stings.
The next step is to identify what caused the sting, it could be a mosquito, ant, flea or a bee.
After this step, wash the sting or the affected area with mild soap and water. If the stinger is lodged within the skin, it can be removed by pulling, brushing or scarping it out of the skin. Credit cards and fine brushes can be used as stingers are not usually lodged deep within the skin.
Then, to reduce immediate swelling and pain, ice packs wrapped in a towel can be applied on the affected area. Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can also be used to reduce pain. Though use of Aspirin is not advised for children. A baking soda mixed with water can also help reduce itching. In addition, creams containing hydrocortisone or agents like lidocaine also help combat itching and pain. Over-the- counter medication which contains diphenhydramine can also be taken orally to reduce itching.
Home Remedies for Treating Bug Bites and Stings
There are a plethora of natural or home remedies to combat bug bites and stings. Most common of them all include tea tree oil, lavender oil, oatmeal, fresh-cut onion or as a quick relief one can also apply toothpaste to the bite.
If you still have questions or concerns about bug bites, our team of physicians at www.askthedoctor.com is here to find your treatment. Just ask!ADVERTISEMENT
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