A mosquito buzzes across the lawn. It targets the back of your knee. And sinks its tiny beak into your skin… We’ve all felt it. Mosquitos bites are common in the summer, no matter how many citronella candles you light. But what about all the other crawling, creeping, flying critters keeping company with the mosquitoes in the brush?
Let’s talk about how to manage different types of insect bites. Knowing what symptoms make some bites a nuisance and which ones mean you should visit to your local FastMed can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
While myths about how many spiders each person swallows in a lifetime are interesting, we need more practical information about how to identify a spider bite and when to see a doctor. That’s how FastMed can help. Some spider bites are harmless. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever if you feel discomfort or notice swelling. With others, you should see a doctor. Seek help if the bite:
- Causes severe pain, abdominal cramping or a growing ulcer at the bite location
- Leads to a person not breathing or trouble breathing
- May have come from a local well known poisonous spider
In the United States, black widows and brown recluse spiders account for the majority of dangerous spider bites. You can pick out a black widow by the red spot on its belly. A bite from a black widow will lead to intense pain and stiffness, abdominal pain or cramping, and sweating.
The brown recluse spider has a shape on its back that looks like a violin. The bite of a brown recluse stings at first and starts to redden and cause pain within 2 to 8 hours. The bite area may turn a blue or purple color, possibly with a red ring around it. If a brown recluse bites you, you may get a fever and chills or nausea and vomiting.
If you think a brown recluse spider or a black window has bitten you, call a healthcare professional immediately and visit a FastMed Urgent Care clinic near you.
It’s important to check yourself for ticks after you spend time outdoors. Ticks live in grass, trees, or shrubs and can jump from your pets to you and vice versa. Often, ticks migrate to warm and moist places on your body. You can find them in your armpits, groin, or hair. When a tick bites you, it will hang on as long as it can and fill up on blood. Ticks may eventually fall off after a period of time.
The main issue with tick bites is that they can transmit disease. See a doctor if your tick bite causes:
- A rash or red spot
- Neck stiffness
- Headache or nausea
- Aches or joint pain
- Fever or chills
- Swollen lymph nodes
Lyme disease is one of the diseases ticks may carry. It is extremely dangerous, and will cause lifelong severe symptoms like pain and weakness if left untreated for long. If you were bitten by a tick and experience any unusual symptoms, contact a FastMed Urgent Care healthcare professional immediately
Bee, wasp, and hornet stings
Bees, wasps, and hornets — Oh my! The occasional bee or wasp sting is painful, but if you’re not allergic the pain will subside and itching will fade. However, if you or someone you care about is allergic to bee or wasp stings, there are a few things you can do:
- Remove the stinger
- Apply ice
- Take an over-the-counter antihistamine
- Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve pain
- Wash the area
- Get a tetanus shot if it’s been 10 years since the last booster
- If prescribed epinephrine (EpiPen) for allergic reactions, use as directed
- Visit a FastMed Urgent Care for treatment
A severe allergic reaction to a bee, wasp, or hornet sting is a life-threatening emergency. If you or someone you care about has trouble breathing; a rapid pulse; nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; dizziness or fainting; or loses consciousness, see a health care professional immediately.
Keep an eye on those you care about
It’s a great time of year to be in the backyard. What could be better than the smell of the grill and the sound of kids laughing on a swing set? Just be mindful of the tiny creatures prowling the lawn with your children. Remember to check those you care about for serious bites and visit a FastMed if you experience any concerning symptoms.
Don’t forget to check in online. You’ll be in and out before the burgers come off the grill.
FastMed Urgent Care owns and operates over 100 clinics in North Carolina, Arizona and Texas that provide a broad range of acute/episodic and preventive healthcare services 365 days a year. FastMed also provides workers’ compensation and other occupational health services at all its clinics, and family and sports medicine services at select locations. FastMed has successfully treated more than six million patients and is the only independent urgent care operator in North Carolina, Arizona and Texas to be awarded The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for quality, safety and infection control in ambulatory healthcare. For more information about locations, services, hours of operation, insurance and prices, visit www.fastmed.com.