Stay Safe from Insect Bites This Summer

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All creatures have a place in the ecosystem. Insects like mosquitoes, ants, and spiders play important roles on the planet and are harmless to most humans. However, like any creature, when they feel threatened, insects will defend themselves by biting or stinging. Bug bites are a part of summer life and, for the most part, they’re not much more than itchy and inconvenient. Occasionally, however, insect bites can lead to complications such as infection, Lyme disease, or West Nile virus. It’s important to take steps to try to prevent bites and to know how to handle bites if they occur.

Many bug bites can be prevented with a few simple steps. Cover skin with clothing and closed shoes, especially at dawn and dusk when insects are most active. If you choose to bare your skin, use an insect repellent. Many natural options are available. If you use a chemical formulation, look for one containing DEET which is very effective.

You’ll probably recognize an insect bite quickly. An itchy red bump will form and it may hurt a bit. Treat the bite immediately with the following steps:

  • Raise the bitten limb above your heart. If the bite is on your foot or ankle, lie down and elevate your leg.
  • If you know that you are allergic to insect bites or stings, take an antihistamine as soon as possible.
  • Apply anti-itch medication to the bite. Hydrocortisone cream and calamine lotion are both good options.
  • Use a cold compress or an ice pack to reduce swelling.
  • Don’t scratch! When you scratch the bite, you run the risk of exposing yourself to infection.

If you get an insect bite and you notice spreading redness, fever, cold-like symptoms, or rash, you should seek medical help as soon as possible. 

Are you having a problem with a bite, or anything else related to the health and well-being of your feet, ankles, and lower legs? It’s time to visit the podiatrist. Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care or click here to schedule a convenient appointment with Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova in our comfortable Pikesville office today.