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Summertime means barbecues, beaches … and bugs. Bites and stings can turn your summer fun into an itchy, painful experience! Luckily, the same treatment works for most bites and stings — learn it once, and use it all summer long.

Bite and Sting Treatment

1) Move to avoid more bites or stings.

2) Remove stinger if necessary.

3) Remain as calm and quiet as possible. Movement increases the spread of venom in the bloodstream.

4) Wash the affected area with soap and water.

5) Lower the affected area below heart level immediately after the incident. This reduces the spread of venom.

6) A few hours later, elevate the area to reduce swelling.

7) Apply a cool compress to avoid pain or swelling. 

8) Treat pain with hydrocortisone, pramoxine or lidocaine creams or gels, or with over-the-counter pain medication. Be sure to follow the medical directions for each of these treatments, and pay particular attention to the directions for children less than two years old. 

Emergency Treatment 

Some people have severe allergic reactions to insect bites or stings. Seek emergency treatment immediately if you experience: 

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the lips, eyelids or throat
  • Dizziness, faintness or confusion
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Hives
  • Nausea or cramps
  • A scorpion sting on a child 

If you’re reacting to a bug bite or sting, FastMed Urgent Care can help — you don’t even need to make an appointment! Just come on in to a location near you or sign in online. Our short wait times and expert care will soothe your suffering skin and get you back to your summer.