Allergic Reaction To Bug Bites – What Medications Are Safe To Use?

Allergic Reaction To Bug Bites

For many of us, the sight of a bee sting or a brush with a wasp sure can look like allergic skin reactions. These bites and stings can cause redness, swelling and pain (which are sometimes very uncomfortable.) Because the level of severity is so much more intense than say a garden variety mosquito bite, some people confuse an allergic reaction to bug bites with just a standard reaction.

Flea bites, for instance, manifest themselves as little itchy red bumps up and down the legs. This may make most people think that they are having an allergic reaction to flea bites because it looks so much like a rash, but in fact, that’s the normal physical characteristic of many tiny mouths dining on your ankles and calves. The allergic reaction to bug bites and stings that most people are familiar with are those of bees. Because of the abundance of people who experience a bee sting allergic reaction when stung, and the often severe associated symptoms, this tends to be the situation that gets the most attention.

For people with a very mild tendency to an allergic reaction to bug bites and stings, general insect bite treatment is normally adequate consisting of cleansing soap and water, antiseptics (such as alcohol or peroxide) and an anti-itch ointment such as hydrocortisone cream, and possibly ibuprofen or other NSAID over the counter medication, all as directed on their package labels. Some people also add an antihistamine to reduce the inflammatory symptoms of a bite or a mild allergic reaction. Bear in mind that if you think that you are having an allergic reaction to bug bites and stings, even a mild one, you have a much greater chance of having a much more severe reaction the next time you encounter said beastie, meaning that normal topical treatment may work this time, but administering the same care the next time could prolong a situation where you need medical attention immediately. Medications that are safe to use during a mild allergic or regular non-allergic reaction may not cause you harm during an allergic reaction, but using them robs you of precious time that can be spent getting emergency medical treatment. If you are having shortness of breath, hives, wheezing, or a rapid pulse, seek medical attention immediately.

For people with severe reactions, epinephrine (adrenaline) is normally considered the only safe and effective medication to use. People with severe allergies normally carry this in the form of a pen, along with other medical information that is pertinent in emergency situations.