Bug bites can make you an itchy, red, stinging mess! Here are 6 ways to treat common insect bites thanks to Real Simple magazine.
1. Mosquito Bites. To treat them, wash it with soap and water and use a cold compressor to reduce itching. Some swear by a thick paste of water and baking soda; apply to the skin, allow to dry, then brush off. It may be difficult, but avoid scratching because breaking the skin could cause infection.
2. Bee or Wasp Stings. If you see a stinger, gently remove it by scraping the surface of the skin with the edge of a credit card because this will lift out the stinger. Then clean the skin with soap and water. To control pain, use ice-10 minutes on and 10 minutes off, for up to an hour.
3. Fire-Ant Bites and Stings. Clean the bites with soap and water. To stop itching, apply calamine lotion or anti-inflammatory hydrocortisone as directed on the package label. If you experience increased pain, worsening redness, or fever, call your doctor because you could have a secondary infection.
4. Spider Bites. Symptoms can range from a pimple-like bump to muscle cramps, chest pain, and nausea. For the first 72 hours, apply ice every few hours and hold it in place for up to 20 minutes. Elevating the affected body part may also help minimize swelling and reduce the amount of venom entering the bloodstream. To manage pain, take an N-SAID.
5. Tick Bites. If a tick is present, use tweezers that have been cleaned with alcohol to grasp as close to the skin as possible, then apply gentle pressure as you pull the tick straight out. Place the tick in a small container filled with rubbing alcohol to kill it. Then, clean the bite area with soap and water.
6. Fly Bites. These can be painful, especially bites from horse flies. So wash the bite with soap and water, then apply ice for about 15 minutes at a time, several times a day. Avoid scratching so you don't break the skin and invite infection.