Some bug bites can be more harmful than others. For example, most mozzie bites aren’t dangerous but dengue, malaria and Zika can be deadly. The same goes with bee stings; one bite could be okay but multiple bites can be a problem. The important thing is to know what bites can be taken care of with a simple cream like paw paw and what ones require you to see the doctor.
Here are five to start with…
1. Bed bug bites
You know what they say about not letting the bed bugs bite? Although the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say they are more of a nuisance than a threat to your health, that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. An infestation in your mattress can cause you sleepless nights if the itch gets unbearable. Luckily, the bites can be treated with a cortisone cream.
2. Bee and wasp stings
Bee and wasp stings are not a big deal unless you’re allergic or you’ve been stung multiple times. If you’re stung by a bee, remove the stinger as soon as possible to limit exposure to the bee’s venom. You can use tweezers or your fingernails.
For those allergic to the bees’ and wasps’ venom, seek emergency medical treatment immediately if your throat begins to swell and you have difficulty breathing. If you accidentally step on a bee’s nest and get stung multiple times, you should seek medical care even if you’re not allergic. Please note that you may experience symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fever, and vertigo and that’s because of build-up of the venom in your body.
For anyone who has had scabies, they will know how unbearable the itch it. Scabies is a parasite infestation caused by microscopic mites and the female burrows into your epidermis to lay her eggs.
If you think you have it, get treated right away as scabies spreads like wildfire. Remove all bedding and clothes you have been wearing since becoming infected and tie them up in a big plastic bag and leave for one week. To kill the mites and their eggs on your body, you can get your doctor to prescribe you a cream.
4. Mosquito bites
Mosquito bites can go from harmless to deadly depending on what the mosquito carries. There has been a lot said about Zika, which is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause serious birth defects. Other illnesses you can get from mosquito bites include West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, Dengue Fever and Malaria.
Some of the viruses mosquitoes can pass on cause inflammation around your brain and spinal cord (West Nile and Encephalitis for example). You can also experience severe pain in your joints that can last for several weeks. In the case of Dengue, you might get a sudden high fever and may bleed from your nose or gums; in severe cases fluid can build in your belly and lungs and this will require immediate medical care.
If you have been bitten recently and develop a fever or other symptoms, get yourself to a doctor.
5. Tick bite
While most ticks don’t carry diseases and many tick bites won’t cause you serious health problems it is still important to remove a tick as soon as you discover it on your body. In doing so you are removing the risk of disease the tick might pass on during its feast. You can remove it quickly with tweezers by gripping it as close to its head at the skin as possible.
It is possible for people to have an allergic reaction to a tick bite, and in serious circumstances your reaction could result in anaphylaxis.
Most ticks carry diseases that have flu-like symptoms, like a fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and muscle aches. The most common tick-borne diseases are Lyme disease (that can cause fatigue, headaches, a stiff neck and sore muscles, and sometimes a red rash that looks like a bull’s eye); Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (passed to humans by wood ticks and dog ticks that can lead to life-threatening complications); Ehrlichiosis (a disease passed to humans that can cause fever, chills, severe headaches and a general ill-feeling, as well as a purple or red rash); Relapsing fever and Colorado Tick fever,especially if you live in the United States; and Babesiosis (passed to humans from deer ticks).
If you like spending time in the great outdoors, making a habit out of checking yourself for ticks is something you should consider.