Q:

How are ant bites treated?

A:

Quick Answer

Treatment of ant bites involves washing the affected area with soap and water, icing the area and seeking professional medical help for an individual who has an allergic reaction to the venom of the ant. Most cases of ant bites can be easily treated at home without further complications; however, those experiencing a more severe reaction should be evaluated by a doctor.

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Full Answer

Treating mild bites involves positioning ice on the area for around 10 minutes and then taking it off for 10 minutes; repeat this process until pain and swelling are alleviated. Complications can arise when the victim is allergic to the venom of the fire ant. The toxic venom of fire ants contains the chemical piperidine, according to MedlinePlus. When released during a bite or sting, this chemical can cause difficulty breathing, throat swelling and rapid heartbeat. Treatment for an allergic reaction to a fire ant bite or sting involves treatment of the wound, support for breathing, intravenous fluid induction and medications to treat symptoms and alleviate pain.

Most people should be fine after an ant bite within a few hours or a few days maximum. Those with allergies to the venom may require hospitalization to make a full and complete recovery.

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