Insect Bites and Insect Stings

Bites or stings from insects that cause allergic reactions or pain. Symptoms of insect bites and stings include swelling, redness, pain, dizziness, loss of breath, and anxiety.

What To Consider

Though insect bites and stings are not serious for most people, for hypersensitive people they can potentially cause a fatal allergic reaction. People with known hypersensitivities should carry a kit containing antihistamine and epinephrine when in areas likely to hold risk.

Practical Hints
If you have a known allergy to insect bites and stings, take preventive measures when outdoors, such as wearing pants, long-sleeve shirts, footwear, and gloves and avoiding cosmetics, perfumes, and hairsprays, all of which can attract insects.

Caution
If you experience symptoms such as flushing, generalized hives, swelling around the neck or tongue, difficulty breathing, faintness, or loss of consciousness or diarrhea after you are bitten or stung by an insect, immediately consult your physician or go to the emergency room.

Self-Care Tips

Nutritional Supplementation
Take vitamin C as soon as possible, along with vitamin B5. Vitamin E applied topically can also help.

Aromatherapy
The essential oils of basil, cinnamon, garlic, lavender, lemon, onion, sage, savory, and thyme are all useful due to their antitoxic and antivenomous properties. Lavender is also effective for treating itching from stings.

Flower Essences
Rescue Remedy Cream applied topically can soothe itching and speed healing.

Herbs
Apply the fresh juice aloe vera or plantain to the sting to soothe pain and stimulate healing.

Homeopathy
Take Aconite, Lachesis, Apis mel., Hypericum, or Urtica Urens immediately after you are bitten or stung.

Hydrotherapy
A cold compress or ice pack applied as needed can help to reduce pain and swelling.

Topical Treatment
Apply ice and vinegar or vinegar and lemon juice or a paste made of bicarbonate of soda as soon as possible to neutralize the venom. Crush a charcoal tablet on a cotton ball, place over sting, and cover with bandage to reduce pain and swelling. Mud applied to the site of the bite or sting will help draw out toxins as it dries.

Caution

If your symptoms persist despite the above measures, seek the help of a qualified health professional.

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