Useful Tips

Insect bite, swelling and redness: treatment


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All of us were once bitten or stung by insects, no matter how we tried to avoid it. An insect bite can be very painful and unpleasant. Learn how to treat a place that has been bitten or stung to relieve pain and speed up the healing process.

Are insect bites dangerous?

Many are convinced that the only thing an insect bite can remember is a tumor. However, realities speak of a completely different story: mortality from hymenoptera bites is more than 3 times higher than mortality from venomous snake bites. The reason for such indicators is that 80% of the world's population has an allergy to proteins that enter the human body along with saliva or hymenoptera venom.

What else can be dangerous insect bites? Firstly, these creatures are often carriers of various microorganisms that can cause severe illnesses in a bitten person, such as typhus, West Nile fever and leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness and dysentery, Lyme disease and encephalitis. This is not a complete list of diseases that can be transmitted by blood-sucking insects, which include fleas, lice, mosquitoes and mosquitoes.

Signs of complications

The natural reaction of the human body to an insect bite is swelling and redness of the skin. Approximately 80% of bitten people feel itching, burning, or even pain at the point where the poison or saliva penetrates the body. In 45% of cases, an allergy to insect bites can develop, which is manifested by the following symptoms:

  • redness and itching of the skin away from the bite,
  • rashes on the body, urticaria,
  • dizziness,
  • confusion,
  • difficulty breathing
  • swelling of the soft tissues of the nasal cavity, pharynx and mouth,
  • loss of consciousness,
  • fever
  • increase in body temperature to subfebrile indicators,
  • chest pain or constriction.

The appearance of any of the above symptoms should be a signal to immediately seek emergency medical care, because with further exacerbation of the symptomatic manifestations of an allergic reaction in a person, anaphylactic shock can occur.

In addition, a seemingly normal tumor after an insect bite can develop into purulent inflammation of subcutaneous fat, to prevent which it is enough to treat the wound with a disinfectant.

How to treat insect bites

At home, there are several sufficiently effective methods and means to quickly and efficiently remove a tumor from an insect bite. Before starting treatment, it is necessary to thoroughly clean the surface of the skin around the wound with ordinary soap and warm water. This will remove the chitin particles of the insect remaining on the body or inside, as well as the remnants of the saliva or poison injected by it. Remember: never comb the place of a bite, even if the itching is unbearable!

With such a phenomenon as insect bites, the treatment consists in eliminating the painful symptoms: itching, burning and swelling. This can be done with the use of external medicines, with the help of oral medication and alternative methods. Consider each method in more detail.

External remedies for insect bites

With slight edema and slight redness, it is enough to attach a piece of ice to the site of the bite, and in other cases it is necessary to use ointments, creams or gels after insect bites. Before choosing a specific dosage form, you need to understand how they differ from each other. The composition of almost all antihistamines or anti-inflammatory ointments that are used to eliminate symptoms after an insect bite includes the same active substances. The only difference is how quickly the product is absorbed into the skin. The ointment is absorbed most slowly, the cream is absorbed a little faster, and the gels are absorbed in just a couple of minutes.

With an average degree of hyperemia and swelling, severe itching, antihistamines should be used, which are dispensed without a doctor’s prescription. With their help, you can quickly get rid of these symptoms. An antihistamine ointment from insect bites should be applied directly to the wound. Things are slightly different with ointments and gels from itching, which include menthol. They need to be applied only to the skin around the wound. Such drugs do not treat an insect bite, swelling and itching, they only have a distracting effect.

The following external medicines are considered the most popular:

  • gel "Fenistil",
  • Psilo-balm gel,
  • cream or ointment "Bepanten",
  • cream or ointment "Afloderm",
  • Calamine Lotion,
  • cream "Elidel".

Insect bites. Pills

Not always gels and ointments can be of sufficient effectiveness. In the event that multiple insect bites appear on the body, external treatment can be supplemented with oral medications, including the steroid preparations Diphenhydramine, Benadryl and others. In addition, with inflammation of the bite sites, it is necessary to use antimicrobial tablets. Acute reactions suggest the use of injections of Epinephrine.

Alternative methods for treating insect bites

An allergy to insect bites, in addition to using pharmacy drugs, can be eliminated by folk remedies. The most famous and effective plants that help relieve swelling, itching and inflammation are plantain, elderberry, dandelion, Veronica officinalis and many others. In addition, in the past two decades, to eliminate the symptoms of allergy to hymenoptera bites, they often began to use food-related products: soda and acetic acid.

Use of folk remedies should be careful, since many of them are themselves allergens, which can worsen the condition of an already affected skin. In order to protect the victim from complications, providing assistance with insect bites by folk methods, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with the recipes for the preparation of medicinal compounds and the rules for their use.


Garlic is one of the most affordable means to eliminate redness and swelling, which was the result of damage to the skin by tiny jaws or stings of winged inhabitants of nature. The first thing an insect bite stands out is a tumor (photo above). You can get rid of it with the help of water extract of garlic. For its preparation, it is necessary to grind on a fine grater or pass through a press a couple of heads of garlic and pour the resulting mass with a glass of boiled cooled water. An infusion is moistened with a sterile bandage or a piece of tissue and applied to the bite site. This tool will benefit in the treatment of bites of blood-sucking insects: mosquitoes, horseflies and midges.

In addition to the infusion, you can use the pulp from one clove of garlic, applying it on a bandage to the skin. This remedy is more effective for stings of stinging insects - wasps and bees. When suppuration appears in the wound, you can mix the mass of garlic with honey in equal proportions. It is necessary to recall that this method requires careful use for people with hypersensitivity to the skin, since garlic juice can cause serious burns.

Cabbage as a remedy for insect bites

Cabbage leaves are considered the most effective way to reduce the tumor from an insect bite. They are used as follows: they take a thin part of the sheet and lower it into hot water for a few seconds to soften it a little. After that, it is applied to the area of ​​the skin exposed to insects, covered with a film on top and fixed with a cloth. This compress will allow you to get rid of a strong tumor and pain from a bite of stinging insects in just one night.

Cabbage ointment from insect bites with suppuration also has a good effect. To prepare it, you need a quarter of a cabbage cabbage (fresh), a bunch of parsley and about 50 g of pork interior fat. Chop the cabbage to a puree state, chop the parsley and squeeze the juice out of it. Mix the resulting ingredients with fat, mix well. It is better to store this tool in the refrigerator. Apply the ointment twice a day to an insect bite, the tumor will subside in about a day, and the itching or pain will go away even faster.

Soda and Vinegar

Bites of blood-sucking insects that bother with severe itching can be treated with baking soda paste. In order to prepare a therapeutic agent, it is necessary to dilute the soda with a small amount of water so that a sufficiently dense mass is obtained from which a cake can be formed. The paste is applied directly to the harassing insect bite, fixing it with a piece of bandage and a medical plaster. In addition, washing with water and soda (1 teaspoon per glass of water) is useful. This method is more suitable for cases when there are multiple bites, and it is not possible to apply a paste of soda on a large surface of the skin.

Use as an external medicine and table 3% vinegar, preferably apple. A bandage or a clean cloth moistened with it is applied to the redness and tumor resulting from a bite of blood-sucking insects for 20-30 minutes. During the use of this tool, it is necessary to ensure that vinegar does not get into the calculations, as this can cause a burn. It is also unacceptable to use undiluted vinegar or essence.


If an insect bite appears on the body, the tumor can be removed with the help of spicy herbs that can be found in any housewife. Most often, basil and mint are used for these purposes. A decoction of basil (2 tbsp. L. Dried herbs boil for 5 minutes in 0.5 l of water, cool) they drink 1/2 cup 3 times a day with severe itching, which often threatens with severe scratching. Mint is used both fresh, applying the juice of crushed leaves to a bitten place, and in the form of poultices: a large pinch of fresh grass is tightly tied in gauze and dipped in boiling water for 5 minutes, after which it is removed and slightly cooled. Apply a gauze bag with mint to the bite should be at least 3 times a day for 20-30 minutes. A decoction of this herb can be used to rub the skin to reduce itching and swelling.

Soap and other hygiene products

Often, such remedies as household dark soap and toothpaste are used as a healing agent to eliminate itching, redness and swelling with bites. To reduce the tumor, it is enough to densely lather the affected areas of the skin twice a day, and with severe itching, traditional healers recommend applying a small amount of mint toothpaste to the bites.

In conclusion, I would like to recall that insect bites that cause severe discomfort (pain, itching, swelling or suppuration) should be shown to the doctor, as these symptoms may indicate an allergy or infection of the wound.

Why insect bites are dangerous

Mosquitoes, ants and fleas, bugs and arthropods often bite people. It is possible to encounter them not only in the fresh air, insects easily penetrate into a living space, skillfully hide in it and attack a person. Each of them has its own reasons for a bite: for some, human blood - food, which makes it possible to produce offspring (mosquitoes) or move to another stage of development, for others a bite - protective measure. Whatever the reasons why the insect has bitten you, you need to be careful about the bites, to know how to properly help.

Ant bites

There have been cases when ants bit people not only in order to protect themselves, but also attacked a sleeping person. During the bite ants emit poisons under the skin, which often cause an allergic reaction, it is dangerous to comb the resulting wounds, which does not exclude the possibility of serious infection.

Mosquito and flea bites

Mosquitoes and fleas - widespread blood-sucking insects. Once in the house, they use a person as a source of nutrition. A lost drop of blood is not as dangerous as the infections contained in the salivary enzymes of pests. The delicate skin of a person instantly reacts to a bite, redness, itching, swelling appears in the penetration zone, all symptoms can be accompanied by severe pain.


Bugs of bedbugs are considered the most dangerous, this is due to the fact that bedbugs multiply quickly, and the sleeping one always deals not with one insect, but with the whole population. Typically, the human body reacts to a bite by the appearance of an allergic reaction with its standard symptoms (burning, redness, swelling), in some cases a bug bite can cause aprophylactic shock at the victim.

Arthropod bites

Spiders - representatives of the family, often found in residential premises (apartments, houses). Almost all types of domestic spiders never attack a person, if a bite happens, it is usually the case when a person embarrassedly touched a web of an insect. The bites of a gray, brown and black spider are not dangerous, the only thing that indicates a bite is a slight redness. You can also find a less peaceful arachnid at home - a black widow, the insect loves dry woods, places under the roof, sheds and cellars. Her saliva contains dangerous highly toxic poisons - neurotoxin and hemolysin. After her bite, symptoms develop rapidly and increase: pain, fever, blurred consciousness, cramps, blue sting area, nausea, severe headache, etc.

What diseases are transmitted by insects?

Allergic manifestations at the site of the bite are the most common reaction, but this is not the only thing that bites of domestic pests can lead to. The most dangerous thing a bite can “reward” you is an infectious disease, the causative agents of which enter the bloodstream during a bite.

Intractable infections include:

  • Dengue fever and amarylesis or yellow fever spread by mosquitoes,
  • Lyme Disease and tick-borne encephalitis, which can be caused by a bite of an infected tick,
  • Lice relapsing fever and typhus,
  • Bedbugs - carriers Staphylococcus aureuscausing a number of infectious diseases of high and moderate severity,
  • Tularemia, plague, salmonellosisTyphus can be transmitted from fleas to humans.

This is just a short list of infections in the spread of which domestic insects play an important role.

We treat mosquito and horsefly bites

  • Attach slightly crushed leaves of plantain or elderberry to the bite site, healing juice of plants relieve swelling and disinfect a wound.
  • Dissolve ammonia in water at a rate of 1: 3, soak a swab in it and grease a bite.
  • Of the medicines for treating bites, it is best to use menovazine ointment, it relieve irritation and relieve itching.
  • Mash the washed leaves of parsley in the palms and attach to the bite, secure them with a bandage or scarf. Change plant materials every three hours.
  • Lubricate the bite area with chilled olive oil.

We treat midge bites

  • Relieve irritationcaused by bites of midges, fresh leaves of dandelions will help. Finely chop the leaves of the plant and apply a compress to the affected area.Change it every two hours.
  • A bandage soaked in fresh, freshly squeezed onion juice is a good ambulance for a bite, it will help relieve itching.

We treat stings of stinging insects

  • Take out the sting and add a pulp of fresh garlic, be careful with this remedy, you may get a burning sensation.
  • You can make a natural compress from burdock. To do this, pour boiling water over it and brush it with a thin layer of honey, and then attach it to the bite site.
  • Cold compress is also effective relieves pain.
  • Required process affected skin with any alcohol-containing disinfectant.
  • Anesthetize the bite site fresh mint leaves will help, rinse them and knead in palms, attach to the wound. Mint will also relieve swelling and redness.

Alternative methods of treating bites

Other means are also used to treat insect bites. Consider short list of popular folk recipes.

Lubricate the bite site with healing aloe juice and after 15-20 minutes you will forget about itching and pain. This tool effectively copes with the bites of almost any insects.

Lemon juice

Freshly squeezed lemon juice diluted with boiled water (1: 1) will help soothe itchy skin. A few drops squeezed out of a lemon slice are enough.

You can cope with unpleasant sensations, remove the swelling, irritation and itching with the help of vodka lotion. Dip cotton wool in alcohol and lubricate the bite area.

What do insect bites look like?

Recognize bite enough insect easy. Typically, redness appears in the affected area, sometimes a papule, in the center of which there is a wound (puncture). The bite site is very itchy. or even sore, burning sensations are not uncommon. Unpleasant sensations do not leave the victim for a minute, forcing to comb the wound, which should not be done, since you can cause an infection. It is better to quickly provide first aid and treat the bite, relieve irritation with the help of folk or medication.

Types of Insect Bites

There are three stages of the reaction of the human body to a bite:

  • Easy reaction to a bite - redness, slight pain, itching.
  • Average - redness is accompanied by swelling of the tissues, a swelling appears.
  • Sharp - the above symptoms are manifested in all severity, shortness of breath, nausea, headache, bouts of fear, vomiting and even loss of consciousness and anaphylactic shock appear.

No matter how innocent the insect bite seems to you, give first aid to the victim. If the bite is obtained from a dangerous insect (tick, hornet, wasp), you need to contact a specialist for help.

What to do if bitten by an insect?

Firstly, thoroughly rinse the place of the bite, preferably with warm boiled water, simultaneously remove the sting or other organic particles. After disinfecting the damaged area, attach to it any antiseptic in the medicine cabinet. If you know which insect has bitten you, use our other tips.

How to lubricate insect bites?

If no folk method has helped you, than to lubricate the bite zone, the pharmacist will tell you. Seek his advice at the nearest pharmacy and purchase the proposed remedy (ointment, gel, cream or other). Many anti-allergic medications (such as fenistil gel) quickly relieve pain and itching.

What should I do if my leg swells after an insect bite?

In this case, only a specialist with a medical education can give advice and recommendations. He will professionally assess the risk of developing a severe allergic reaction and prescribe individual treatment. A tumor is a serious symptom that requires consultation with a doctor. Typically, such a strong reaction can be triggered by a bite of a bee, wasp or hornet. A pill of suprastin or another antihistamine will help stop tissue swelling.