Should You See a Doctor for That Insect Bite or Sting?

 

The world around you is full of insects, some of whom view you as a disturbance or food source. From bees to fire ants, insects can, and do, bite and sting in search of nourishment or as a way to warn you off. Most of the time, insect stings are harmless, and your body fights off the effects of the invader with ease. There are times, however, when you should seek medical help after an insect bite.

Here are a few guidelines to help you decide whether or not a trip to Clear Creek ER in Houston after an insect bite or sting is necessary:

A lasting impression

From mosquitoes to deer flies, there are times when you may feel like a buffet for insects. While these insects can leave their mark in terms of swelling, redness, and itching, these symptoms should resolve themselves quickly. If the swelling around the insect bite doesn’t go away, even after icing, and bruising starts to develop, it’s probably time to have a doctor take a look. If the bite becomes painful, that’s also a sign that you should come in to have it checked.  

By the numbers

If you’ve stumbled into a bee hive while trimming your hedges, you may be met with more than one angry sting. The average person can tolerate 10 bee stings per pound of body weight, but this number merely means withstand. If you encounter an angry swarm, a better rule of thumb is to seek medical help if you’ve been stung more than a dozen times.  

You should also pay close attention to your body’s reaction, and at the first signs of distress, such as swelling or hives, get to Clear Creek ER right away. If your tongue or throat swells or you have difficulty breathing, call 9-1-1 without delay. 

A ring around it

If you’ve been bitten by a tick, and you develop a red ring around the bite or a rash in the area, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Aside from the rash, be on the lookout for a fever and head and body aches. Ticks carry the Lyme disease infection, as well as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which are very serious diseases if not treated early on.

A bad reaction  

One of the top 10 allergens are insect bites or stings, and reactions range from mild swelling to anaphylactic shock. Insect bites and stings are two different things, and most allergic reactions are caused by the release of venom in an insect sting. The most common culprits in the stinging category are bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and fire ants.  

If you’ve been stung by any one of these, and you develop a rash or hives, monitor it closely. If your tongue or throat swells, or you feel dizziness or chest pain, don’t delay in getting immediate medical attention.

Spiders aren’t so bad

While many people believe that spiders lurk around every corner, ready to pounce, the fact is that only the black widow and the brown recluse have enough venom to cause any real harm. Most spider bites are no more dangerous than a mosquito bite, and present much the same way.

If you’ve been bitten by one of the two more venomous spiders, which is rare since they’re mostly hidden, you’ll develop symptoms that will leave you little doubt about the wisdom of seeking medical help at Clear Creek ER. Black widow bites can lead to severe pain, cramping, and nausea, while the brown recluse bite can lead to fever, chills, and a rash. 

When it comes to insect bites and stings, it’s best to use your common sense. If your symptoms are causing great discomfort, or they don’t go away after a day or two, a trip to Clear Creek ER might shed some light on the problem. If you experience immediate and severe reactions, don’t delay in coming in. We’re open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Posted 2/22/2018

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