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Bug Bites and Insect Stings That May Need Treatment

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Bug Bites and Insect Stings That May Need Treatment

Most of the time, bug bites and insect stings go away within a few days. They may itch, turn red, and feel uncomfortable, but they don't result in any harm.

However, some people are prone to having reactions to bites and stings. The symptoms may not be severe, but they are enough of a concern to pay close attention to. For the most part, insect bites and bug stings can be treated with simple first aid care. However, in other cases, medical treatment might be necessary.

What symptoms do bug bites cause?

One of the most frequent reasons regular insect bites can become fatal is due to an allergic reaction. For example, the most common response to bee stings is pain, swelling, warmth, redness, hives, and small amounts of bleeding or drainage. While painful, these stings will eventually go away and do not require further treatment other than keeping the area clean with soap and water.

However, specific symptoms suggest that a bee sting may have induced a life-threatening allergic reaction, or anaphylaxis. These include coughing, tickling in the throat, tightness in the chest, itching and breathing problems.

In the event of such a severe reaction, seeking medical attention immediately is essential.

What are life-threatening spider bites?

Unless you're allergic to spiders, most bites from these eight-legged crawlers will result in tiny wounds with minor reactions. Nevertheless, there are two spiders in the United States with bites that require a trip to the emergency room.

The first spider to watch out for is the infamous female black widow, a shiny black spider with a definite red hourglass on its underside. A bite from this creature results in pain and swelling, possibly developing into muscle pain, rigidity, stomach and back pain, nausea, and breathing difficulties. However, even though these spiders are incredibly poisonous, their bite is rarely fatal.

The brown recluse spider is another extremely dangerous spider common in the Midwestern, Western, and Southern states. Bites from these spiders leave a welt that looks like a bruise or blister, eventually turning crusty and dark. Symptoms of such a bite include fever, chills, itching, nausea, and sweating. The bite can also cause kidney failure, a seizure and a coma, so you should call 911 when you recognize any of these symptoms.

What kind of diseases can you get from bug bites?

There are certain insects that, while usually harmless, can carry diseases. When bit or stung, they carry over and infect people.

One of the most common insects that most people find annoying is the mosquito. While these bloodsuckers usually leave an itchy welt, they can sometimes carry illnesses such as malaria, West Nile virus, Zika virus, and equine encephalitis. Signs that you may have contracted one of these viruses include nausea, headaches and a fever.

Then, there are ticks. While they are an annoying pest, some infected ticks can give you Lyme disease, another sickness that can be extremely dangerous if not diagnosed immediately. The first sign of Lyme disease is a big, bullseye-shaped welt on your skin, along with headaches, fevers, and chills. If untreated, the illness can cause short-term memory loss or heart problems.

If you're experiencing extreme pain or notice any unusual symptoms from a bug bite or insect sting, we recommend seeing a physician or visiting an urgent care clinic or emergency room. At ProMedica Toledo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care, we have emergent and non-emergent services under one roof, so you don’t have to worry about the kind of care you need. Our ER-trained physicians examine patients and determine the level of care they need, and they’re only billed for the level of care received.

The emergency room is open 24/7, and the urgent care clinic is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Without the need for any appointments, ProMedica Toledo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care welcomes all walk-ins. The facility is located at 1075 Medical Center Parkway, Maumee, OH 43537.