Secondary bacterial infections are a common complication of insect bites and stings. Your solutions for common summer irritations. Health Protection Scotland: Ticks and Lyme Disease in Scotland, Chat to an NHS operator in our Live Chat - opens a new window, washing the affected area with soap and water, placing a cold compress (a flannel or cloth soaked in cold water) over the area to reduce swelling, weals – circular, fluid-filled areas surrounding the bite, urticaria – a rash of weals (also called hives, welts or nettle rash), angio-oedema – itchy, pale pink or red swellings that often occur around the eyes and lips for short periods of time, a high temperature of 38C (100.4F) or over, a minor localised reaction – this is normal and doesn't require, a large localised reaction (LLR) – this can cause other symptoms, such as swelling, itching and a rash, a systemic reaction (SR) – this often requires immediate medical attention because it can cause a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction, wheezing, hoarseness or difficulty breathing, washing the affected area with soap and water, placing a cold compress (a flannel or cloth cooled with cold water) over the affected area to reduce swelling, not scratching the area as it can become infected (keep children's fingernails short and clean), wrap an ice pack, such as a bag of frozen peas, in a towel and place it on the swelling, take an antihistamine tablet to help reduce swelling (antihistamine tablets are available on prescription or from pharmacies), using a pair of fine-tipped tweezers or a tick removal tool (available from pet shops or veterinary surgeries), wearing gloves or using tissue over your fingers to avoid touching the tick, grabbing the tick as close to the skin as possible, gently but firmly pulling straight up until all of the tick's mouthparts have been removed, not twisting or jerking the tick while removing it to avoid the mouthparts breaking off and remaining in the skin, washing your hands with soap and water afterwards, folliculitis – inflammation of one or more hair follicles (the small holes in your skin that hair grows out of), lymphangitis – an infection that causes red streaks in your armpit or groin and swollen lymph nodes (small glands that are part of the immune system), facial palsy – weakness of the facial muscles that causes drooping of one or both sides of the face, encephalitis – an uncommon but serious condition that causes inflammation of the brain, move away slowly and don't panic if you encounter wasps, hornets or bees – don't wave your arms around or swat at them, cover exposed skin – if you're outside at a time of day when insects are particularly active, such as sunrise or sunset, cover your skin by wearing long sleeves and trousers, apply insect repellent to exposed areas of skin, particularly in summer or early autumn, when stings are most likely to occur – repellents that contain diethyltoluamide (DEET) are most effective, avoid using products with strong perfumes, such as soaps, shampoos and deodorants – they can attract insects, avoid flowering plants, outdoor areas where food is served, rubbish and compost – regularly and carefully remove any fallen fruit in your garden and keep a well-fitting lid on dustbins, never disturb insect nests – wasps build nests in sheltered areas such as trees and roof spaces; if a nest is in or near your house, arrange to have it removed (see the GOV.UK website for details about, avoid camping near water, such as ponds and swamps – mosquitoes and horseflies are commonly found near water, keep food and drink covered when eating or drinking outside, particularly sweet things – wasps or bees can also get into open drink bottles or cans you're drinking from, keep doors and windows closed or put thin netting or door beads over them to prevent insects getting inside the house – also keep the windows of your car closed to stop insects getting inside, being aware of ticks and the type of habitats where ticks usually live, wearing appropriate clothing in tick-infested areas (a long-sleeve shirt and trousers tucked into your socks), wearing light-coloured fabrics to help you spot a tick on your clothes, inspecting your skin for ticks, particularly at the end of the day, including your head, neck and skin folds (armpits, groin, and waistband), checking your children's head and neck areas, including their scalp, making sure ticks aren't brought home on your clothes, checking that pets don't bring ticks indoors on their fur, fleas or flea faeces (stools) in your animal's fur or bedding are a sign of fleas, crusting on your dog's fur is a sign of fleas, excessive scratching and grooming are a sign of fleas in your cat, dandruff (flakes of skin) on your cat or dog is a sign of mites, spots of blood on your bed sheets are a sign of bedbugs, an unpleasant almond smell is a sign of bedbugs.

Never spray insect repellent on your baby’s face or near their eyes. Bees leave their sting, complete with poison sac, in the skin. Try not to scratch the affected area to avoid infection. Don't pinch the sting out with your fingers … A bee sting feels similar to a wasp sting, but the sting and a venomous sac will be left in the wound. Seek medical advice before travelling to a tropical area where there's a risk of catching malaria. See your GP if you've been bitten or stung and there's a lot of swelling and blistering or if there's pus, which indicates an infection. If you're particularly sensitive to insect bites, you may develop: Mosquito bites in certain areas of tropical countries can cause malaria.

For bedbug infestations, your home will need to be thoroughly treated with an insecticide by a reputable pest control company. This is called a weal. Signs of infection include: Call your child’s pediatrician for advice if you notice any of these symptoms. The symptoms that can occur from different types of insect bites are described below. See the GOV.UK website for details of pest control services and more information about how your local council can help with an infestation. Itching, swelling and red lumps are typical — but welts may vary in size from barely noticeable to near softball-sized. I was stung by a wasp today just after lunch - on my wedding ring finger .....ouch ..hurt like hell , but then got distracted by kids /tea/etc and didn't bother with it , although it was throbbing. If you are allergic to wasp stings, make sure you carry your medication and seek medical attention if you are stung right away. Fright, more than the pain itself is usually what will make a child upset about being stung. After the tick is removed, expect a small, itchy bump on the site of the bite for several hours up to two days. You're more likely to be bitten by a spider while you're abroad, if you keep non-native spiders as pets, or if you have a job that involves handling goods from overseas. Rochelle Humes shares stunning shots of baby Blake's nursery, Footballers’ Wives star Susie Amy welcomes a daughter, Hilary Duff celebrates daughter’s 2nd birthday after announcing new pregnancy, Ed Sheeran and Adele: These are the most popular songs to give birth to. Swelling may extend beyond the sting site — such as to the whole leg from a sting on the ankle. A small hole, or the sting itself, may also be visible. The area will become itchy and may remain swollen for several days; try to prevent your child from scratching as this can cause infection. You need to be observed after each injection to make sure you don't have an allergic reaction to the treatment. Avoid scratching the bite because it will cause further swelling and increase the risk of infection. You're more likely to be bitten or stung if you work outdoors or regularly take part in outdoor activities, such as camping or hiking. If the bite or sting is painful or swollen, you can also: If local swelling is severe, your GP may prescribe a short course of oral corticosteroids, such as prednisolone, to take for three to five days. Has your child had a run-in with one of Mother Nature’s pests? Encourage your kids not to scratch them. Cold water will sooth the discomfort. Most insects sting as a defence by injecting venom into your skin. The affected area will usually remain painful and itchy for a few days.

A certain type of malaria caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum is potentially fatal. It's now about two times thicker than my other fingers, and it hurts a lot. Get to grips with the most common skin problems in toddlers, Meet the most common parasites your little one is likely to meet, Follow our mum and dad bloggers journey into parenthood, The Truth About Labour - Here is What to Expect, 9 Things That Change Once You Become a Parent, My Maternity Leave Diary - I Am So Lonely, Not Returning to Work After Maternity Leave, 14 Tips to Help Your Baby Get a Good Nights Sleep, Read More Stories, Tips, Journeys and Reviews by our Bloggers, WIN one of 200 pairs of tickets to the National Baby & Toddler Show Online, Win a Grace Inspire Cot Bed - Little Prince/Princess, How to deal with stings and bites in children, Difficulty in breathing because of swelling of the tissues in the airways, Swelling of the eyes, lips, hands and feet. Dial 999 to request an ambulance if you have swelling or itching anywhere else on your body after being bitten or stung, or if you're wheezing or have difficulty swallowing. If you've been stung and the wasp or hornet is still in the area, walk away calmly to avoid being stung again. Wasps and hornets don't usually leave the sting behind, so they could sting you again. An insect bite or sting often causes a small lump to develop, which is usually very itchy. Use a mosquito net and make sure that their arms, legs and feet are kept covered when you are in an area, such as near a lake or pond, where there are mosquitoes. The reaction can be classed as: Although insect bites and stings are a common cause of anaphylaxis, it's rare to experience anaphylaxis after an insect sting, and it's rarely fatal. Read more about preventing insect bites and stings. If you suspect that you have a tick bite, complete our self-help guide to assess your symptoms and find out what to do next.

If you have an allergic reaction after being bitten or stung, even if it's just a skin rash (hives), your GP may prescribe an adrenaline pen (an auto-injector) and show you how to use it. See treating insect bites for advice about how to remove this safely. While severe allergic reactions aren’t that common, they can lead to anaphylactic shock, cardiac arrest and unconsciousness in 10 minutes or less. The information on this website is for general information and it is not intended as, nor should it be considered as a substitute for seeing your own GP, midwife or healthcare professional. Paracetamol can be given in the appropriate dose for your child’s age to ease the pain. Now (a day later), my finger is extremely swollen up, and I cannot move it at all. Pain, redness and swelling around the site of a bee or wasp sting is normal.

You're more likely to have an allergic reaction if you're stung by an insect. Most people won't have severe symptoms after being bitten or stung by an insect, but some people can react badly to them because they've developed antibodies to the venom. You'll need to take these as instructed, usually two to four times a day for seven days. Sleeping under a mosquito net and spraying rooms with insecticide will also help prevent you being bitten. Often a mosquito bite will result in a raised red itchy lump. Discover when to worry and when to relax.

People who've been sensitised to bee stings are more likely to have an SR than people who are stung by wasps. Bullae may also develop. You're most at risk of being bitten by a Blandford fly in May and June. Minor bites and stings can be treated by: See your GP if the redness and itching gets worse or doesn't clear up after a few days. That said, most true spider bites are harmless and don’t require treatment.