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First Aid for Insect Bites and Stings - Kit, Home Care, What to Expect

By Dr. Dheeraj Bhaskaran Nair in Emergency & Trauma

Feb 14 , 2022 | 1 min read

Signs and symptoms of an insect bite result from the injection of venom or other allergic substances into your skin. The severity of your allergic reaction depends on your sensitivity to the insect venom or substance and whether you've been stung or bitten more than once.

What to Expect After Insect Bits and Strings

Most reactions to insect bites are mild, causing little more than an annoying itching, pain, redness, or stinging sensation and mild swelling that disappear within a day or so. A delayed reaction may cause fever, hives, painful joints, and swollen glands.

When to Rush to the Doctor After Insect Bites and Stings

You might experience both immediate and delayed reactions to the same insect bite or sting. Only a small percentage of people develop severe reactions (anaphylaxis) to insect venom. Signs and symptoms of a severe reaction include:

Home Care Tips for Insect Bites and Stings

  • Move to a safe area to avoid more stings
  • Remove the stinger, especially if it's stuck in your skin. This will prevent the release of more venom. Wash the area with soap and water and refrain from scratching
  • Apply a cold pack or cloth filled with ice to reduce pain and swelling
  • Apply calamine lotion or a baking soda paste with a ratio of three teaspoons baking soda to one tea spoon water to the bite or sting several times a day until symptoms subside

A First-Aid Kit for Insect Bites and Stings Should Include

  • Sterile Adhesive Bandages in Assorted Sizes
  • Sterile Gauze Pads of Different Sizes
  • Adhesive Tape & Band-aid
  • Cotton Buds & Cotton Roll
  • Latex Gloves
  • Thermometer
  • Scissor
  • Safety Pins
  • Sterile Saline/Distilled Water