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Bug bites and stings – what to do if it happens to you – Part I

posted on: 2018-06-20
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The more we’re outside this summer, the better for our health. It probably means we’re being active, going to the beach and spending time playing. But at the same time, the more we are outside, the more we are at risk of encountering an unfriendly bug – bees and wasps, mosquitoes, fire ants, and even sand flies.

Although irritating, most bites and stings will go away after a few days and don’t require much treatment other than “don’t scratch it!” But sometimes, the affected area will see a much different result. In Part I, we’ll share three common bug bites or stings and what to do about them. Next time around, we’ve got a few more to share.

Screen-Shot-2018-06-20-at-16.40.20-300x199 Bug bites and stings - what to do if it happens to you - Part I

Fire ants

The bane of the Florida backyard, the fire ant builds large anthills and delivers a nasty sting to anyone who tries to disrupt them. In fact – we should say “stings” because if you aggravate even one of these guys, he can sting you over and over again.

If you stepped in an anthill when you were mowing, or your child poked one with a stick and now you have legs full of bites, the best thing to do is ice them (15 min on-15 min off) until the pain subsides. At the same time, take an antihistamine. When you’re finished icing, rub some hydrocortisone cream into the skin to take away the itch.

If your leg starts to swell immediately or the bites don’t begin to go away after a few days, stop in to our urgent care center in West Palm Beach for immediate treatment.

Bees and wasps

Another entry into the “sting” category, bees and wasps can make any picnic or barbecue an unpleasant place to be. They love sugar, so they’ll be joining you for your watermelon, soft drinks, and fruit salads. If they land on you, stay calm and give them a little blow to get them moving again.

Whatever you do – don’t wave your arms around! Bees and wasps sting defensively, so if they think that you’re about to swat them, they’ll have their stingers ready.

To avoid bites, don’t use scented products in your morning routine – no perfume and no scented lotions and oils. When you’re getting ready for the picnic, don’t wear flowered patterns. And finally – have the possibility of closing all containers – think bowls and cups with lids, so you don’t get a nasty surprise.

If you do get stung – and you are allergic to the sting, which you will know because you’ll see swelling or hives in the affected area, or you’ll begin to have trouble breathing – come immediately to our urgent care center in Wellington to get treated.

Sand flies

These aren’t a problem unique to Florida, but they are more common here than other places due to our lovely beaches. If you get bit by a sand fly (also known as sand gnats or sand fleas), you’ll feel it. As long as it isn’t swelling immediately, you should be OK – just rub on some hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to stop the itching.

If it does start to swell, or you begin to have strange, unexplained symptoms, come to our urgent care center in West Palm Beach. Sand flies can transmit diseases, and we can check you out to make sure that you didn’t get one.

When you’re out having a picnic in the backyard or at the beach, you are exposed to all of these bugs. The best precautionary measure is covering up (long sleeves/long pants) but covering yourself in DEET-free bug spray is also a good solution. If you still get bit or stung and you have an adverse reaction, stop immediately into our urgent care Wellington to get checked out. We are open 7 days a week to serve you when you need it.

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