One of the most common questions we get from May to August is, “How can we get rid of bug bites?” Many people during the hot summer months are afflicted with bug bites. Not much else can ruin a summer vacation more! Although annoying, most bug bites in the US do not carry the risk of transmitting diseases (there are exceptions). The risk for secondary bacterial infection exists with all itchy bug bites, so always be sure to keep the affected area clean.
What Does a Mosquito Bite Look Like?
Do you see a white raised bump on your skin with a tiny red dot in the middle? Do you have a few hard, reddish bumps with swelling around the base? These symptoms indicate mosquito bites. Other tell-tale symptoms include bleeding, incessant itching, swelling, and soreness around the affected area.
Some patients with immune system disorders can experience more severe symptoms that include hives, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fever, and extreme swelling. Those with allergic reactions to mosquito bites may see blistering, inflammation, and other reactions similar to asthma. It’s possible for some patients to become immune to these bites and not experience any skin reactions or itching at all.
What Does a Black Fly Bite Look Like?
Bites from a black fly are sometimes so small that they can’t always be seen, but they usually induce some degree of pain. These bites result in anywhere from mild to severe swelling, sometimes up to the size of a golf ball. “Black fly fever,” an extreme case, is attested to headache, fever, nausea, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
What Does a Deer Fly Bite Look Like?
Deer fly bites are detected by a swelling bump with an itchy red center. These flies have sharp, scissor-like mouths that they use to cut open the skin for their blood meal. They drink from the flow of blood that issues from the wound. Deer flies are one of the few types of fly in the US that can transmit diseases. These disease can include symptoms such as skin ulcers, fever, and headache.
Our Solution to Eliminate Bug Bites
For minor bites, a cold compress will lessen the swelling. Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can help as well. For more serious or persistent instances, we recommend over-the-counter hydrocortisone, a steroid that will treat the inflammation. To address the itching, we recommend Sarna Anti-Itch or tea tree oil (especially lavender). If the area becomes very red and starts to ooze, infection could be setting in. At this point, we recommend an appointment.