What Are Some Treatments for Bug Bites?


Quick Answer

Treatments for bug bites and stings include applying an ice pack and using a nonprescription medicine to relieve swelling, itching and redness, says WebMD. Elevating the stung or bitten area reduces swelling. Putting witch hazel or underarm deodorant on a bite are home remedies that do not cause any harm.

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Full Answer

Applying ice to a bite or sting for approximately 15 minutes every hour for the first six hours relieves pain, itching and swelling, advises WebMD. Place a cloth between the ice and skin, and do not leave the ice in place for more than 20 minutes. Oral antihistamines, calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream relieve swelling, redness and itching. A local anesthetic spray that contains benzocaine helps to reduce pain as do medicines such as aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Consult a doctor before using any medicines on children.

If there is no swelling after six hours, applying warmth to the area may offer relief, notes WebMD. Prevent infection by washing the area with soap and then wiping with antiseptic or rubbing alcohol. Avoid scratching the area, and do not break any blisters that appear. Apply an antibiotic ointment to a bite that becomes irritated, and cover it with a bandage. When treating a bite or sting, contact a doctor if flu-like symptoms, skin infections, or more severe or frequent symptoms develop.

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