Tips for treating insect and snake bites, when to see a doctor
CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – If you plan to spend time outdoors on vacation weekend or any time of summer, be on the lookout for bugs and snakes. Although most insect bites are harmless, insects can cause several illnesses such as Zika, West Nile disease, and Lyme disease.
Summer in South Carolina means we’re surrounded by these creepy creepers. If you end up with a bite The Mayo Clinic advises you to take note of your reaction.
Most reactions to insect bites and stings are mild and can cause symptoms such as minor swelling, itching, and redness. If that’s the case, the Mayo Clinic says to go indoors first or to a safe place where you won’t get any more bites or stings. Next was the area with soap and water. A cold compress can go a long way in reducing pain and swelling.
Other recommendations from the Mayo Clinic:
- Apply 0.5 or 1 percent hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion, or baking soda paste to the bite or sting several times a day until your symptoms subside.
- Take an antihistamine (Benadryl, others) to reduce itching.
If symptoms of more concern, such as dizziness, difficulty breathing, swelling of the eyes or throat, or nausea occur, seek medical attention.
“Any insect bite where you have trouble breathing or feel swelling in your throat you need to go to the emergency room immediately and any snake bite you need to go to the ER,” said Dr. Noelle Jennings of the Roper St. Francis Hospital.
Other symptoms to watch out for include a rapid heartbeat, swelling of the lips, hives, cramps, or vomiting.
The Mayo Clinic advises take these steps immediately while waiting for medical help:
- Ask the person if they are wearing an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen, Auvi-Q, others) to treat an allergic attack.
- If the person says they need to use an auto-injector, ask if you should help inject the medicine. This is usually done by pressing the autoinjector against the person’s thigh and holding it in place for several seconds.
- Loosen tight clothing and cover the person with a blanket. Do not give him anything to drink.
- If the person vomits, position them to avoid choking.
- Begin CPR if the person shows no signs of circulation, such as breathing, coughing, or movement.
During a family meal or during a fireworks show, use Insect repellents registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The American Academy of Dermatology advises apply sunscreen first, let it dry, and apply bug spray on top.