Every human being on this earth has been, in one way or another, stung more than once either by a mosquito, bee, spider or wasp. It generally reddens or swells the skin and cause pain. However, in some cases, an insect bite can cause a life-threatening allergic reaction or transmit pathogens. This article will provide some useful remedies that one can try at home in case of an insect bite. But before understanding remedies, let’s understand what happens when insect stings and the symptoms.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER AN INSECT BITE?
Most insects don’t bite humans until they feel getting provoked. Insects become defensive when someone disturbs their hives or nests and as a result, bite them. A sting contains protein and other substances that can cause an allergic reaction to the victim. It also causes redness and swelling. A bite from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and fire ants can cause serious reaction to the people who are allergic to these insects. Interestingly, death by a bee sting is three-four times more common than death from a snake bite.
Bites from mosquitoes are not defensive in nature but happen as mosquitoes thrive on blood. Deadly diseases such as malaria, dengue affect people because of a mosquito bite. In unhygienic places, a common housefly can cause intestinal infections such as typhoid.
Most bites from a bee or a bug result in pain, swelling, redness, itching and blister. After a bite, the skin might also break or get infected. If proper treatment is not taken, this may also result in a more serious condition, cellulitis. If a bite is severe, one may experience hives, wheezing, shortness of breath, unconsciousness, and even death within 30 minutes. Bee stings or bites from large hornets can cause muscle breakdown, kidney failure and death. An ant bite may develop a small central area or pus.
HOME REMEDIES FOR INSECT BITES
- If a bite results only in redness and pain, applying ice provides an adequate treatment. First, clean the area of the bite with soap and water. After that, apply ice and it may reduce swelling. Also, avoid scratching the bite or the area around it as it may form an infection.
- Honeybees and yellow jackets are the only insects that leave stingers in the skin. Remove the stinger from a credit card or something similar but remember not to pinch the stinger otherwise it might spread more venom. After doing this, follow the same process as was advised in earlier point.
- To remove the swelling, elevate the area of the bite if possible.
- A mixture of baking soda and water can be applied to avoid itching.
- The antiseptic properties of aloe vera, basil leaves and peppermint make them a great remedy to treat insect bites. For aloe vera treatment, apply aloe vera gel on the affected area. Applying fresh peppermint leaves provides a cooling sensation and reduces the itching. Just applying crushed leaves or peppermint oil in the sting area for nearly 15 minutes works fine.
If the condition happens to be more severe, consult your DOCTOR immediately