Mosquito & Insect Bites Treatment & Prevention
Itchy insect bites and stings are an almost inevitable part of outdoor life. Though these can sometimes be serious, they are mostly an annoyance, causing a temporary itch or pain.
Find relief with cold compresses and topical medicated preparations, such as POLYSPORIN® Itch Relief Lotion with its fast-acting soothing action. And remember — don’t scratch. Scratching prolongs the reaction and the itch.
Black Fly & Mosquito Bites Treatment:
Black fly bites can be extremely painful, and the injection of venom into the skin may cause intense itching, local swelling and soreness, while mosquito bite symptoms are usually mild and transient.
To treat either, you can use a topical anesthetic, such as POLYSPORIN® Itch Relief Lotion, to reduce the itch and discomfort, or a topical steroid to reduce the itching and redness, such as POLYSPORIN® 1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream. Oral antihistamines can also be effective in reducing the symptoms of mosquito bites. If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.
Bee Stings Treatment:
If a bee stings you it may leave its stinger in the wound, which can continue to pump venom into your bloodstream if left behind. Act quickly and follow these steps:
- Check the sting area for a small, dark object like a splinter — this is the stinger. Remove the stinger as quickly as you can to help reduce the severity of the sting. Some recommend scraping the stinger off with a credit card, fingernail or blunt knife rather than pulling it out to help avoid squeezing more venom into the wound. However, how the stinger is removed is not as important as getting it out as fast as possible.
- Wash the sting area with soap and water or use alcohol wipes. An antibiotic ointment, such as POLYSPORIN® Plus Pain Relief Cream, may be applied afterwards.
- Apply cold compresses for immediate pain relief
- For large local reactions, consider applying a topical preparation, such as calamine lotion, POLYSPORIN® Itch Relief Lotion, or preparations containing antihistamines or topical steroids. Alternatively, oral antihistamines, such as BENADRYL® tablets, and pain relievers, such as MOTRIN® or TYLENOL® tablets, may help.
- See your doctor if the reaction site is greater than 10 inches in diameter of if there is evidence of infection, such as increasing pain, swelling, redness, pus or fever.
- If it has been more than 10 years since your last tetanus shot, make an appointment with your doctor to get a booster shot within the next few days.
- In the case of a known or suspected severe allergic reaction to bee stings, seek medical help immediately.
- Dress in light-coloured clothing. Insects tend to be attracted to dark or floral-pattern clothing. Light colours also make it easier to spot ticks and get rid of them before they burrow into the skin.
- Cover up when you are going out, especially during dawn and dusk. Tuck in clothing so that your skin isn't exposed and wear a hat.
- Apply an insect repellent or use mosquito nets.
- Be cautious if you're leaving sweet beverages or food outside, as this can attract bees.
- If you've had a serious allergic reaction to bites or stings, be sure to wear a medical alert bracelet and inform those around you about your allergy. Always have an epinephrine pen with you in case of emergency.