Reviewed by: Amy Hinshaw
The summer season is popular for outdoor fun and play for all ages. Summer is also a notorious time for insects to make their way into backyards, hiking trails and dozens of other spaces you and your family soak in the sun.
Bug bites are uncomfortable and sometimes painful for those who explore the outdoors without the proper protection. Taking the necessary precautions can prevent itchy, swelling bumps on the skin’s surface and can also help avoid catching diseases carried by insects.
Learn to identify common summer bug bites, remedies for treating the area and prevention methods to make your summer easier and pain-free.
A few insects you may encounter this summer are ticks, mosquitos, horse flies, fleas and bees. Although most of these little bugs help maintain the life cycle for many plants and other insects in our ecosystem, they can become a hassle to avoid for humans who enjoy spending time outdoors.
Bug bites can take on different shapes, sizes, textures and colors. It can be challenging to identify what type of bug made its mark on the skin by just glancing at it. Being aware of your surroundings can make it easier to know what bit or stung you. If you didn’t notice the insect, look at your bite and see what it could’ve been caused by:
If you can identify what bug bite you have, treatment is the next best step to healing bug bites quickly. Most bites will go away on their own, but we understand that waiting for that day may seem tricky. Remedies for bug bites that itch and swell are easy to apply and typically found in local pharmacies.
The best bug bite relief can depend on the specific bite or sting you sustained:
In bee stings, the stinger can burrow in the skin even after the bee leaves. Use a clean, straight-edged item like a credit card to gently scrape the stinger out. Since venom infuses these stingers, avoid removing them with tweezers or by squeezing so the venom does not penetrate the wound.
After the stinger is out, run the location of the sting under water and clean the area with soap. This step can remove any dirt that could infect the sting. Apply an icepack to the location to reduce swelling for up to 20 minutes at a time. To eliminate discomfort, apply hydrocortisone cream or aloe vera to the sting. These steps should allow a quick healing process.
Treating mosquito bites is similar to playing the waiting game. Try to avoid scratching the bite as much as possible to prevent breaking the skin and causing infection. Like bee stings, washing the bite with soap and water can help remove any bacteria from the area. If the bite location continues to itch, apply an anti-itch or antihistamine cream. Calamine lotion can help to smooth the area and reduce swelling.
A tick bite can sometimes also come with the tick itself. Ticks latch themselves onto the skin until manually removed with fine-tipped tweezers. After the tick releases the skin, treating the area with a cold icepack for 20 minutes every hour can eliminate any swelling or red marks on the skin.
To dispose of the tick, don’t crush it. That could release infection-causing fluids from inside its body. Instead, you can flush the tick down the toilet, put it in a sealed bag, put it in rubbing alcohol or wrap it in tape and throw it out.
A flea bite and a horse fly bite are similar in treatment. Clean the area with soap and water to avoid spreading bacteria from the wound. If itching starts to occur, apply an anti-itch cream. These bites typically heal quickly on their own, but you should try to keep them clean and avoid itching them.
Before going outside, make sure to follow these steps to avoid bug bites:
Young ones are naturally curious about nature and the wildlife around them. Something as innocent as a backyard exploration can lead to uncomfortable bug bites. Follow the advice above and these tips for protecting children and babies from getting bitten:
In an event where a bug bite triggers an allergic reaction or the skin continues to worsen for more than a week, visit Coastal Urgent Care as soon as possible. Our qualified staff of medical professionals can help assess the bite and offer immediate treatment options specialized for your situation. Walk-ins are available seven days a week, or you can schedule an appointment.
Have any questions about our services at our Houma, Louisiana, facility? Contact us today.