About all

Insect bite that looks like a bruise: When to worry (or not worry) about a bug bite


Is My Kid’s Bug Bite Infected?

School’s out for summer! It’s time for playing at the park, swimming and catching lightning bugs. Unfortunately, it’s also the time when I see many office visits related to insect bites and their complications. It seems like no matter how hard I try to prevent them, my kids always end up with at least a few itchy bug bites. Parents are often concerned about whether or not a big red swollen spot is infected and if it needs antibiotics.

Most people develop some redness and itching after a mosquito bite. Unfortunately, some children will have what’s known as a large local reaction, or “Skeeter syndrome.” This happens due to an allergy to mosquito saliva. These patients develop redness and swelling within hours of a mosquito bite. The swelling can be very large (like an entire arm or leg) and typically worsens over 1-2 days. In the worse reactions there can be bruising and even blistering!

It’s not always easy even for your doctor to tell the difference between “Skeeter syndrome” and a skin infection. One of the big differences is the timeline. Skin infections usually happen several days after a bite or an injury, but “Skeeter syndrome” usually starts within a few hours of a bite. Most often children with a large local reaction will complain about intense itching. Only in the more severe cases are pain and fever seen with allergy. It’s not common, but some even develop severe allergic reactions to mosquito bites that lead to difficulty breathing.

Large local reactions are best treated with oral antihistamines (Benadryl or Zyrtec) and topical over-the-counter steroid cream (hydrocortisone 1 percent). Fingernails need to be trimmed very short, because scratching causes local skin damage that can become infected. Cold compresses several times a day help alleviate some of the discomfort. In patients who have a history of this type of reaction, I recommend daily antihistamines such as Zyrtec during the time of the year when bites are difficult to avoid. This doesn’t totally prevent the reaction, but can help keep the swelling from being as extreme. I don’t recommend topical antihistamines (Benadryl cream) because some people develop a contact allergy that actually worsens the problem

So, when should you come to the doctor? 

Any child with significant eyelid swelling or swelling that is limiting activity or skin blistering deserves an office visit because they require further evaluation and sometimes even need oral steroids or more potent prescription topical steroids. Red/swollen/hot areas of skin that are associated with pain or fever should also be examined to rule out a bacterial infection.

Tick bites don’t usually cause itching like mosquitos, but are more of a concern due to infections they can transmit. Ticks are predicted to be more prevalent this summer due to the winter being relatively warm. Ticks can transmit several infections with Lyme being one that is often discussed.

If you find a tick on your child it should be removed with tweezers by grasping the tick as close to the skin as possible and pulling straight up. Different types of ticks spread different infections. For example, infected deer ticks can spread Lyme after being attached for 36 hours or longer. Certain areas of the country have a much higher rate of local tick infection than others. Texas is not a part of that area, but cases of Lyme do occur every year.

It is best if children bathe after coming in from playing outside to wash off ticks prior to attachment. It’s a good idea to look in hidden areas such as behind the ears and on the scalp. Remove ticks if you find them and watch for a rash. Certainly, a rash that looks like a bull’s eye or a target (erythema migrans) is concerning for Lyme infection and needs to be seen for further testing.

Insect bite avoidance is important (and hard)! The large local reactions are definitely very uncomfortable, but infections transmitted by mosquitos such as West Nile or Lyme from ticks are potentially very dangerous. Using DEET containing insect repellant and wearing long sleeves during peak mosquito times are helpful.

As always, see your pediatrician if you are worried about a bite or rash and we are happy to help.



From ticks to spiders… 11 common bug bites and how to spot their symptoms

SUMMER is still just about here and as we’re all spending more time outside we are more exposed to insects that bite and sting.

Unless you catch the culprit in the act it’s hard to know what insect decided that you were their lunch.


Bites can often be itchy and uncomfortable and it’s often impossible to know what has bitten youCredit: Getty – Contributor

Everyone’s immune system responds differently to bites and stings and some people may have more severe reactions than others – especially when it comes to stings from flying insects like bees.

Usually a bite or sting will be mildly itchy and sometimes they can also be a little bit painful, with the area around the bite becoming tender.

If you’re symptoms persist it’s imperative you see a doctor to check that you haven’t been infected and that you aren’t suffering from an insect born disease.

But how do you work out what bit you in the first place?

Here are 11 of the most common bites and stings – along with their culprits.

1. Flea bite

Flea bites are small red bumps that appear in clusters. They are small and often have little red halos around them.

They usually prefer animals but can also go for warm areas like the groin and armpits.


The bites above show someone who have been severely bitten by fleas Credit: Getty Images – Getty

Symptoms: They are usually itchy and will leave red marks.

How to treat: Try not to scratch the area, keep it clean and use antiseptic creams.

2. Tick bite

Ticks like to feed on your blood so it’s usually easy to find them as quite often they will still be attached to the area they have bitten.

They will usually leave a red spot but not all people will have this reaction.

Ticks like warm blood so they will look to feast on the warmer parts of the body like armpits, behind the knees and the groin.


Image above shows Lyme Disease caused by a tick bite Credit: Getty – Contributor

Symptoms: If you have been bitten by a tick then it can usually be quite itchy.

The reaction you have will depend on the type of tick that decided to feast on you.

Lyme disease is one signal as well as other tick-borne illnesses include tularemia and anaplasmosis.

How to treat: Try not to itch the bite. If it gets uncomfortable you can use an ice pack or apply calamine lotion or antiseptic creams to stop the itching.

3. Spider bite

If you see a spider scurrying away or you have two tiny puncture wounds on your skin then it’s most likely a spider bite.

Most spiders only bite when they are provoked and their bites will usually leave your skin red and a bit swollen.


Most spiders only bite when they are provoked so leave them alone Credit: curezone.org

Symptoms: Mild pain is to be expected but if you have been bitten by a black widow or brown recluses then you could experience tremors and nausea.

If you think you’ve been bitten by one of these spiders then you should seek help from a professional.

How to treat: Using an ice pack will help the swelling and if you have been bit on your leg it’s a good idea to keep it elevated.

4. Fly bite

Fly bites are common if you spend a lot of time outside and even more so if you spend time around horses and they can be pretty painful.


Fly bites can be irritating and you can put ice on the area to helpCredit: Alamy

Symptoms: They are often raised and will be a little bit itchy but more are innocuous.

How to treat: To help soothe the bite you can apply ice and keep the area clean.

5. Mosquito bite

Mosquitoes like to go for the ankles, knees and the neck. Their bites form bumps that usually go red.


As shown above, mosquito bites will usually be red around the area that has been bittenCredit: Alamy

Symptoms: You won’t feel much pain at first but these bites can become very itchy.

If you’re experiencing cold or flu symptoms then you may have contracted a disease as some mosquitoes carry Zika and West Nile viruses

How to treat: You can take an over the counter antihistamines and make sure you keep the area clean.

Top tips for bites and stings

While each bite and sting is different here are some simple steps that will help with any bite or sting.

Emma Blackman, CEO of Science of Skin said wearing long trousers when walking through fields is a great prevention method.

Having been bitten the following can help:

  • Remove the sting if it’s still in the skin. Try to scrape it out so you don’t squeeze the area and release more of the venom into the skin.
  • Wash the area of the bite with soap and water
  • Cover the sting with a cold compress or ice pack for about 15 minutes
  • Avoid scratching the bite as this can make it more itchy and swollen and raise the risk of infection

6. Bee sting

Bee stings can be fatal to some and there will usually be a white spot where they have stung.

Sometimes the barbed stinger is left attached and you need to pull this out.


The barbed stinger from the bee can sometimes be left behindCredit: Alamy

Symptoms: You will have moderate pain which should go away within a few hours.

How to treat: You can use a cold compress to quell the swelling but if you think you’re having an allergic reaction then it’s best to go to A&E.

7. Bed bug bite

These can sometimes look like mosquito bites and appear as small, red, puffy lumps in a cluster of three or more.

They appear on skin that is exposed to your bed covers at night. Bed bugs often linger in your mattress in the corners.


Bed bugs can linger so make sure you wash your bedding Credit: Getty Images – Getty

Symptoms: The bites can become itchy and swollen but they don’t spread disease.

How to treat: First you need to get rid of the bed bugs from your home. To do this you need to make sure you wash your bedding often and vacuum any areas around the bed.

You can also scrub the mattress seams to remove their eggs.

You can use over the counter pain relief and antihistamines to stop the itching.

8. Ant bite or sting

These can be a double whammy as some ants can bite and sting. Most will cause pimple-like spots.


Close up of painful wounds on kid’s neck after bitten by ants Credit: Getty Images – Getty

Symptoms: If a fire ant has bitten you then it will be painful as they have strong venom, this can take weeks to go away.

How to treat: Ice the sting on and off and elevate the area. You can also take antihistamines.

9. Sand fly bite

Sand fly bites can transmit parasite infections that cause skin lesions and ulcers.

They will appear in small red clusters and can also cause blisters.


Sand fly bites can be uncomfortable and you can use anti histamines to helpCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Symptoms: They will be painful and itchy.

How to treat: Antihistamines usually help.

10. Chigger bite

These bites are usually invisible to the naked eye and will create tiny little bumps.


Chigger bites are usually very small but they will create bumpsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Symptoms: You will feel severe discomfort but the mites don’t spread disease and do not burrow in your skin.

How to treat: They usually get better without treatment but if you’re struggling you can use antiseptic creams or calamine lotion.

11. Head lice bite

Head lice leave patches of red, abraded spots on the scalp.

The bites are small but the reaction your body has to them makes them grow.

You can also develop sores due to scratching.


Head lice bites can be irritable Credit: Kosta Y. Mumcuoglu 2007

Symptoms: First you might see some eggs that then hatch into lice.

If you feel like something is moving your hair then it’s likely lice crawling.

How to treat: After washing the hair with shampoo and conditioner you need to comb through with a fine comb to remove lice and eggs.

Lice lotion can also be used to prevent them returning.

Horrific moment massive swarm of ravenous midges try to enter Scots home

Insect Bites and Stings and Spider Bites

Have you been bitten or stung by an insect or spider?


Insect or spider bite or sting


Insect or spider bite or sting

How old are you?

Less than 1 year old

Less than 1 year

1 to 11 years

1 to 11 years

12 years or older

12 years or older

Are you male or female?

Why do we ask this question?

The medical assessment of symptoms is based on the body parts you have.

  • If you are transgender or non-binary, choose the sex that matches the body parts (such as ovaries, testes, prostate, breasts, penis, or vagina) you now have in the area where you are having symptoms.
  • If your symptoms aren’t related to those organs, you can choose the gender you identify with.
  • If you have some organs of both sexes, you may need to go through this triage tool twice (once as “male” and once as “female”). This will make sure that the tool asks the right questions for you.

Do you have a concern about a tick bite?

Did the bite or sting involve the eyeball?


Bite or sting to eyeball


Bite or sting to eyeball

Could you be having a severe allergic reaction?

This is more likely if you have had a bad reaction to something in the past.


Possible severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)


Possible severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)

Have you ever had a severe allergic reaction to a bite or sting?

A severe allergic reaction affects the whole body. Your doctor may have called it anaphylaxis.


History of severe allergic reaction to bite or sting


History of severe allergic reaction to bite or sting

If your bite or sting happened in the last 2 days, are you having any symptoms of an allergic reaction now, even mild ones?


History of severe reaction with symptoms now


History of severe reaction with symptoms now

Is there any serious swelling?

This could include swelling that is not near the bite or sting area, or swelling that began at the bite or sting site but is expanding well beyond that area. (Some swelling at the site of the bite or sting is normal.)


New or expanding swelling not near bite or sting


New or expanding swelling not near bite or sting

Are the lips, tongue, mouth, or throat swollen?


Swelling of lips, tongue, mouth, or throat


Swelling of lips, tongue, mouth, or throat

Did the lips, tongue, mouth, or throat swell quickly?


Rapid swelling of lips, tongue, mouth, or throat


Rapid swelling of lips, tongue, mouth, or throat

Does swelling involve the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, or the area from one large joint to another, such as from the ankle to the knee?


Swelling is across two joints, on soles of feet, or on palms of hands


Swelling is across two joints, on soles of feet, or on palms of hands

Is the swelling getting worse (over hours or days)?


Swelling is getting worse


Swelling is getting worse

Did you get an epinephrine shot to treat the reaction?


Has had epinephrine shot


Has had epinephrine shot

Have you been bitten or stung by a poisonous spider (such as a black widow or brown recluse spider), a scorpion, or a caterpillar?


Bitten or stung by poisonous spider, scorpion, or caterpillar


Bitten or stung by poisonous spider, scorpion, or caterpillar

Are there any hives?

Hives are raised, red, itchy patches of skin. They usually have red borders and pale centres. They may seem to move from place to place on the skin.

Do the hives cover many places on your body?

Did the hives appear within 3 hours after the bite or sting?


Hives developed within 3 hours of bite or sting


Hives developed within 3 hours of bite or sting

Do you think you may have a fever?

Are there red streaks leading away from the area or pus draining from it?

Do you have diabetes, a weakened immune system, peripheral arterial disease, or any surgical hardware in the area?

“Hardware” includes things like artificial joints, plates or screws, catheters, and medicine pumps.


Diabetes, immune problems, peripheral arterial disease, or surgical hardware in affected area


Diabetes, immune problems, peripheral arterial disease, or surgical hardware in affected area

Have you developed any flu-like symptoms after the bite or sting, such as fever, shaking chills, muscle or joint pain, headache, or a general feeling of illness?

This could happen within minutes of the bite or sting or up to 3 weeks later.

Did these symptoms begin within minutes after the bite or sting?


Flu-like symptoms began within minutes after bite or sting


Flu-like symptoms began within minutes after bite or sting

Do you have other symptoms, such as belly pain, vomiting, or diarrhea?


Has other symptoms, such as belly pain, vomiting, or diarrhea


Has other symptoms, such as belly pain, vomiting, or diarrhea

Did these symptoms begin within minutes after the bite or sting?


Other symptoms began within minutes after bite or sting


Other symptoms began within minutes after bite or sting

Have tiny red or purple spots or bruises appeared suddenly?


Sudden appearance of red or purple spots or bruising


Sudden appearance of red or purple spots or bruising

Is there a blister, a painful sore, or a purple discoloration at the site of a bite or sting?


Blister, painful sore, or purple discoloration at bite or sting site


Blister, painful sore, or purple discoloration at bite or sting site

Are you having new muscle spasms or stiffness?


Muscle spasms or stiffness after bite or sting


Muscle spasms or stiffness after bite or sting

Do you have pain at the site of the bite or sting?

The pain may feel like a burning pain. It may be very bad for several minutes right after the bite. You may still have some pain hours later.


Pain or burning pain at site of bite or sting


Pain or burning pain at site of bite or sting

Has the pain lasted for more than 8 hours?


Pain for more than 8 hours


Pain for more than 8 hours

Is the pain getting worse?

Have you tried home treatment for more than 2 days?

Home treatment includes things like using ice on the area, taking an antihistamine, and taking pain medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).


Home treatment for more than 2 days


Home treatment for more than 2 days

Did you get more than one bite or sting?

This does not include mosquito bites.


More than 1 bite or sting


More than 1 bite or sting

Was there more than one bite or sting from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, or fire ants?


2 or more bites or stings from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, or fire ants


2 or more bites or stings from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, or fire ants

Did you get at least 5 bites or stings from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, or fire ants?


5 or more bites or stings from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, or fire ants


5 or more bites or stings from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, or fire ants

Did you get at least 10 bites or stings from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, or fire ants?


10 or more bites or stings from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, or fire ants


10 or more bites or stings from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, or fire ants

Have symptoms lasted for more than a week after the bite or sting?


Symptoms for more than 1 week after bite or sting


Symptoms for more than 1 week after bite or sting

Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind of care you may need. These include:

  • Your age. Babies and older adults tend to get sicker quicker.
  • Your overall health. If you have a condition such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, or heart disease, you may need to pay closer attention to certain symptoms and seek care sooner.
  • Medicines you take. Certain medicines and natural health products can cause symptoms or make them worse.
  • Recent health events, such as surgery or injury. These kinds of events can cause symptoms afterwards or make them more serious.
  • Your health habits and lifestyle, such as eating and exercise habits, smoking, alcohol or drug use, sexual history, and travel.

Try Home Treatment

You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be able to take care of this problem at home.

  • Try home treatment to relieve the symptoms.
  • Call your doctor if symptoms get worse or you have any concerns (for example, if symptoms are not getting better as you would expect). You may need care sooner.

Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can start within minutes of eating or being exposed to an allergen. While symptoms usually occur within 2 hours, in rare cases the time frame can vary up to several hours after exposure. Do not ignore early symptoms. When a reaction begins, it is important to respond right away.

Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can vary from person to person. The same person can have different symptoms each time they have a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include any of the following:

    • Skin: hives, swelling (face, lips, tongue), itching, warmth, redness
    • Respiratory (breathing): coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, throat tightness, hoarse voice, nasal congestion or hay fever-like symptoms (runny, itchy nose and watery eyes, sneezing), trouble swallowing
    • Gastrointestinal (stomach): nausea, pain or cramps, vomiting, diarrhea
    • Cardiovascular (heart): paler than normal skin colour/blue colour, weak pulse, passing out, dizziness or lightheadedness, shock
    • Other: anxiety, sense of doom (the feeling that something bad is about to happen), headache, uterine cramps, metallic taste

A severe reaction can take place without hives, so make sure to look out for all of the signs of an allergic reaction.

Symptoms of infection may include:

  • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in or around the area.
  • Red streaks leading from the area.
  • Pus draining from the area.
  • A fever.

Pain in adults and older children

  • Severe pain (8 to 10): The pain is so bad that you can’t stand it for more than a few hours, can’t sleep, and can’t do anything else except focus on the pain.
  • Moderate pain (5 to 7): The pain is bad enough to disrupt your normal activities and your sleep, but you can tolerate it for hours or days. Moderate can also mean pain that comes and goes even if it’s severe when it’s there.
  • Mild pain (1 to 4): You notice the pain, but it is not bad enough to disrupt your sleep or activities.

Pain in children under 3 years

It can be hard to tell how much pain a baby or toddler is in.

  • Severe pain (8 to 10): The pain is so bad that the baby cannot sleep, cannot get comfortable, and cries constantly no matter what you do. The baby may kick, make fists, or grimace.
  • Moderate pain (5 to 7): The baby is very fussy, clings to you a lot, and may have trouble sleeping but responds when you try to comfort him or her.
  • Mild pain (1 to 4): The baby is a little fussy and clings to you a little but responds when you try to comfort him or her.

Certain health conditions and medicines weaken the immune system’s ability to fight off infection and illness. Some examples in adults are:

  • Diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and HIV/AIDS.
  • Long-term alcohol and drug problems.
  • Steroid medicines, which may be used to treat a variety of conditions.
  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer.
  • Other medicines used to treat autoimmune disease.
  • Medicines taken after organ transplant.
  • Not having a spleen.

Shock is a life-threatening condition that may quickly occur after a sudden illness or injury.

Adults and older children often have several symptoms of shock. These include:

  • Passing out (losing consciousness).
  • Feeling very dizzy or light-headed, like you may pass out.
  • Feeling very weak or having trouble standing.
  • Not feeling alert or able to think clearly. You may be confused, restless, fearful, or unable to respond to questions.

Shock is a life-threatening condition that may occur quickly after a sudden illness or injury.

Babies and young children often have several symptoms of shock. These include:

  • Passing out (losing consciousness).
  • Being very sleepy or hard to wake up.
  • Not responding when being touched or talked to.
  • Breathing much faster than usual.
  • Acting confused. The child may not know where he or she is.

You may need a tetanus shot depending on how dirty the wound is and how long it has been since your last shot.

    • For a deep or dirty wound that has things like dirt, saliva, or feces in it, you may need a shot if:
      • You haven’t had a tetanus shot in the past 5 years.
      • You don’t know when your last shot was.
      • You have not received 3 doses of the tetanus vaccine series.
    • For a clean wound, you may need a shot if:
      • You have not had a tetanus shot in the past 10 years.
      • You don’t know when your last shot was.
      • You have not received 3 doses of the tetanus vaccine series.

Sudden tiny red or purple spots or sudden bruising may be early symptoms of a serious illness or bleeding problem. There are two types.

Petechiae (say “puh-TEE-kee-eye”):

  • Are tiny, flat red or purple spots in the skin or the lining of the mouth.
  • Do not turn white when you press on them.
  • Range from the size of a pinpoint to the size of a small pea and do not itch or cause pain.
  • May spread over a large area of the body within a few hours.
  • Are different than tiny, flat red spots or birthmarks that are present all the time.

Purpura (say “PURR-pyuh-ruh” or “PURR-puh-ruh”):

  • Is sudden, severe bruising that occurs for no clear reason.
  • May be in one area or all over.
  • Is different than the bruising that happens after you bump into something.

Seek Care Now

Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.

  • Call your doctor now to discuss the symptoms and arrange for care.
  • If you cannot reach your doctor or you don’t have one, seek care in the next hour.
  • You do not need to call an ambulance unless:
    • You cannot travel safely either by driving yourself or by having someone else drive you.
    • You are in an area where heavy traffic or other problems may slow you down.

Call 911 Now

Based on your answers, you need emergency care.

Call 911 or other emergency services now.

Sometimes people don’t want to call 911. They may think that their symptoms aren’t serious or that they can just get someone else to drive them. But based on your answers, the safest and quickest way for you to get the care you need is to call 911 for medical transport to the hospital.

Seek Care Today

Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The problem probably will not get better without medical care.

  • Call your doctor today to discuss the symptoms and arrange for care.
  • If you cannot reach your doctor or you don’t have one, seek care today.
  • If it is evening, watch the symptoms and seek care in the morning.
  • If the symptoms get worse, seek care sooner.

Make an Appointment

Based on your answers, the problem may not improve without medical care.

  • Make an appointment to see your doctor in the next 1 to 2 weeks.
  • If appropriate, try home treatment while you are waiting for the appointment.
  • If symptoms get worse or you have any concerns, call your doctor. You may need care sooner.

Seek Care Now

Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.

  • Call your doctor now to discuss the symptoms and arrange for care.
  • If you cannot reach your doctor or you don’t have one, go to the emergency room now. You may have a reaction after the epinephrine wears off.
  • You do not need to call an ambulance unless:
    • You cannot travel safely either by driving yourself or by having someone else drive you.
    • You are in an area where heavy traffic or other problems may slow you down.

Eye Injuries

Tick Bites

When should I go to the doctor for a bug bite?

Most bug bites can be treated at home. Hydrocortisone cream and topical/oral antihistamines work quickly to reduce swelling and itching. However, if a scab looks infected, or if a bite’s swelling does not reduce within several days of the initial event, it’s time to see a doctor. Consider visiting a health clinic if you experience any of the following:

  • Multiple stings or bites in a short period of time (regardless of immediate reaction)
  • Rapidly spreading redness
  • New redness around the area starts more than 24 hours after the bite
  • Redness exceeds a radius of one inch
  • Continuous, severe pain
  • Fever or flu-like symptoms coupled with infected-looking bite

An urgent care center can help you identify the nature and severity of the bite. We can ease your discomfort, prescribe antibiotics for infection, and rule out the worst-case scenarios following an unfortunate run-in with the offending bug. Need to get checked out after work? Our Aurora urgent care center has longer hours than some of other clinics and stands ready to treat a wide range of nasty bug bites. If you’re looking for an online photo guide of dangerous bites from different bugs, we recommend this resource from WebMD.

When to Go to the Emergency Room

Some of the worst but bites and stings may present an immediate life-threatening danger for which you should go to the ER. These reactions are likely to occur between the bite itself and one hour post-contact and include one or more of the following symptoms.

  • Difficulty breathing
  • A throat-closing sensation
  • Wheezing, hoarseness, or trouble speaking
  • Swollen lips, tongue, or face
  • Chest pain
  • Stiff neck (can’t touch chin to chest)
  • A racing heartbeat that outlasts the initial adrenaline
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache

These symptoms represent a range of dangerous reactions such as anaphylaxis, cellulitis, and lymphangitis. However, the indicators are not always evident, and they may take time to develop into a serious-looking condition. Generally, an allergic reaction is an emergency if it happens in two or more of the following body systems: skin, digestive system, respiratory system, and cardiovascular system. For example, if you feel slight throat tightness (respiratory system) with a rapid heartbeat (cardiovascular system), you should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

You can also read our other resources for bug bites in Colorado.

What are the Signs of a Dangerous Bug Bite?

The signs of dangerous bites can be as varied as the bugs that give them.

Although, many bites from different animals do have common links. Swelling, pain and redness may be appear after almost any bite and it’s important to know these symptoms in case an emergency situation arises.

Being prepared may just save someone’s life, or, at the very least, it could help that pesky bite to stop hurting a lot sooner.

What Makes Some Bites Dangerous?

Avoid mosquitoes and other bugs

Bugs can spread malaria, encephalitis, Lyme disease, Zika, chikungunya and many more illnesses.

In fact, the CDC published data in May 2018 which showed that vector-borne disease case numbers had more than tripled in the U.S. from 2004 to 2016.

Another common problem is that the stings or bites of many animals (such as bees and wasps) may cause serious, potentially life-threatening allergic reactions.

Venom is an issue with spiders. No, spiders are not technically bugs, but it’s common to lump “creepy crawlies” into one general category. Several types of spiders can inject a poisonous venom into their target.

General Signs

As Healthline shares, symptoms of bad bites typically include:

  • Redness or rash
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Itching
  • Heat on and around the affected area
  • Swelling
  • Pain in the affected area or in the muscles

Bad reactions to bites create much more serious symptoms like:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Swelling of the lips and throat
  • Muscle spasms
  • Confusion and loss of consciousness

Bugs to Watch Out For


To most people living in the south, mosquitoes are just a part of life. But, with the considerable diseases that can be spread through this bug, everyone should know the signs of a bite and a few of the notable problems that could come with it.

Mosquitoes spread a variety of dangerous illnesses.

Viruses like Zika, Chikungunya, dengue, malaria and yellow fever represent create global risks. West Nile virus, the St. Louis encephalitis virus, the Eastern equine encephalitis virus and the California serogroup of viruses pose problems in North America.

A mosquito bite will start as a small bump and then become red, swollen and itchy. Mosquito-borne diseases present a wide spectrum of symptoms so specific research is necessary.


When you picture ticks you likely think of the frustration they can cause your dog or cat. Unfortunately, these tiny bites can also lead to painful problems for humans.

Ticks can spread several diseases including Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Powassan virus, tularemia, babesiosis and anaplasmosis/ehrlichiosis.

As writer Alena Hall describes in a December 2017 Huffington Post article, tick bites can appear differently depending on the potential illness.

A Lyme disease infection could mean you get a red, target-shaped rash. Rocky Mountain spotted fever would be indicated with a red or black spotted rash that spreads.


Most spiders don’t should prove relatively harmless, whether you’re bit or not. Although, certain species are known for the dangerous venom that they possess. Two of the world’s most-feared spiders can be found in North America.

Black Widow Spiders

These spiders are famous for their mating habits and vibrant markings. The species is also thought to generally prefer the warmth of the south.

Black widow spiders are considered to be the most venomous spiders in North America, according to Live Science; though they are not likely to bite humans unless they are in a dire, threatening situation – particularly where they are being crushed.

Death as a result of a bite could occur, though this is rare. Treatment should be sought as soon as possible.

WebMD notes that a bite may come with stabbing pains or it could be painless. Black widow spider bites can develop with one or two red fang marks, tenderness and redness with a nodule. Symptoms of muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting, seizures, high blood pressure, sweating, chills, tremor and headache could follow.

Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse spiders are native to the United States and enjoy the living conditions of objects such as boxes, rubber tires, shoes and other such hiding spots.

Like black widows, brown recluse spiders only bite when they feel attacked, mainly through being crushed. They have a toxic venom that means people with bites should seek treatment immediately. Bites from brown recluse spiders are very rarely deadly but it is possible.

The bite itself is not usually painful. After a few hours, pain, itching and redness may begin, possibly with a white blister in the center.

Remember to be careful around these animals and consult a professional if you believe you have a dangerous bite. If you’d like some advice on handling bug bites in the summer, you can read more here.

Have you ever had to deal with a dangerous bug bite? Did you know the signs of a bad bite before reading this post? Let us know in the comments below, or via Facebook and Twitter.

Written for Passport Health by Katherine Meikle. Katherine is a freelance writer and proud first-generation British-American living in Florida, where she was born and raised. She has a passion for travel and a love of writing, which go hand-in-hand.

Insect Bites – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf


The consequences of arthropod bites are generally due to traumatic injury or local inflammation and hypersensitivity to arthropod saliva. Even though some arthropods are capable of injecting venom when biting, most envenomation occurs via a stinger connected to a venom gland.  Notable arthropods possessing stingers include bees, wasps, hornets, fire ants, and scorpions.  Both bites and stings create tissue injury which can serve as a portal of entry for secondary bacterial infection.

The four classes medically significant arthropods are the chilopods, diplopods, insects, and arachnids. Members belonging to each class are as follows:

  • Chilopoda:  centipedes

  • Diplopoda:  millipedes

  • Insecta:  Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, hornets and fire ants), mosquitoes, bedbugs, fleas, lice, beetles, caterpillars and moths, and kissing bugs

  • Arachnids:  spiders, scorpions, mites, and ticks


Centipedes are chilopods characterized by a cephalad biting structure connected to a venom gland. Bites often produce two hemorrhagic punctures accompanied by surrounding erythema and swelling. The venom consists of biochemical mediators, including metalloproteases, which result in immediate localized pain.[1] Treatment is generally supportive and includes cleaning the area with soap and water, local application of ice, topical steroids, and pain management with acetaminophen or NSAIDs.[2] Cases manifesting with severe localized pain are treatable with the local infiltration of lidocaine. [2]


Millipedes are members of the class Diplopoda, characterized by the presence of two pairs of legs per body segment. Millipedes inflict damage through secretion of a toxic liquid from glands on the sides of their body segments which produces a localized caustic-like effect to tissues. Clinically this may present with an intense burning sensation accompanied by erythema and occasionally vesicle formation. The toxic liquid often causes the development of a localized area of hyperpigmentation, usually brown or black, which may last for months.[1][3] More significant injury can occur with ocular exposure which can cause chemical conjunctivitis or corneal ulceration. Treatment of topical exposure is similar to that of a second-degree burn and includes topical antibiotics and analgesics. Washing the area immediately with soapy water following exposure may help reduce the effects of the toxin. Treatment of ocular exposure requires copious irrigation, fluorescein staining to evaluate for ulceration, topical antibiotics, cycloplegics, and ophthalmology referral.


Members of the class Insecta, which comprise approximately 60% of all arthropod species, include Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, hornets and fire ants), mosquitoes, bed bugs, fleas, lice, beetles, caterpillars and moths, and kissing bugs.[2]

Caterpillars and Moths

While most caterpillars and moths are harmless to humans, some cause cutaneous disease when contact with their protective hairs or spines occurs. The most common clinical manifestations of exposure are erythema, pruritus, and the development of papules or urticaria at the site of contact. In the United States, the most serious clinical reactions occur in contact with the Pus Caterpillar, primarily found in the Southeastern United States. Rather than pruritus, exposure often results in local burning pain and the development of hemorrhagic, purpuric papules organized in a grid-like pattern.[3] Treatment of caterpillar and moth induced cutaneous reactions consists primarily of symptomatic care including local ice application, pruritus control with topical corticosteroids and systemic antihistamines, and pain control with NSAID’s or acetaminophen. [2] If hairs or spines are present on the skin, they can be removed with adhesive tape.[3]


Cimex lectularius, the human bedbug, is an obligate blood feeder with a worldwide distribution. It is oval shaped, flat, red-brown in color and about 3 to 6 mm in length. Bedbugs usually live in crevices in walls, floors, mattresses, cushions, bed frames, and other structures. Bites sometimes occur linearly and most commonly manifest as a small papule or punctum usually without a surrounding reaction.[3]Treatment of bites consists primarily of symptomatic care with the use of topical glucocorticoids and systemic antihistamines to control pruritus.[2] Secondary infections should be treated with the appropriate antibiotics. Elimination of infestations can be difficult and requires a combination of professionally applied insecticide and nonchemical controls.

Kissing Bugs

Kissing bugs, or triatome bugs, are a type of reduviid bug that can carry the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas disease. Kissing bugs are 1.5 to 2.5 cm long, brown or black and typically have red or yellow stripes on their abdomen. Triatomes are blood-sucking insects and nocturnal feeders which transmit Trypanosoma cruzi through their feces. Their range runs in the southern United States, Mexico, Central America and South America where they typically live in thatched roofs or cracks and holes of substandard housing. Victims may sometimes inadvertently scratch or rub the feces into the bite wound or the mucous membranes, especially the eyes or mouth. Bites are usually painless and present as papules with hemorrhagic puncta or vesiculobullous lesions.[3] An area of localized swelling, erythema, and induration corresponding to the site of trypanosome entry is known as a chagoma. The classic finding in acute Chagas disease is the presence of a chagoma on the eyelid, known as Romana’s sign. Following the acute phase of the infection, which can last for several months, patients enter the chronic phase, during which the infection may remain asymptomatic for decades. Approximately 20 to 30% of infected patients will develop cardiac or gastrointestinal complications.


Lice are parasitic insects that feed on human blood. They have six legs, are tan to grayish-white, 2.5 to 3.5 cm in length, have no wings, and are flat in shape. The three types of lice that feed on humans are the head louse, Pediculus humanus
capitus, the body louse, Pediculus humanus
corporis, and the pubic or crab louse, Pthirus pubis. While head and pubic lice do not have an association with disease transmission, body lice can transmit typhus and louse-borne relapsing fever.

Head lice

Head lice occur most frequently in younger children in daycare or elementary school and typically present on the head, eyebrows, and eyelashes. Head lice exist in one of three forms: the adult, the nymph, and the egg. Eggs, also known as nits, are yellowish and are cemented to the hair shafts. The nymph, an immature louse, hatches from the egg in about 8 days, and as the adult form, is an obligate blood feeder. Common symptoms of head lice infestation include a sensation of something moving in the hair, itching, or the visualization of nits or lice. Diagnosis is by identification of nits, nymphs or the adult louse on the scalp or hair. Head lice infestation treatment is with pediculicides, many of which are available without a prescription. Common over-the-counter treatments include pyrethrins and permethrin 1% lotion. Oral ivermectin at an initial dose of 200mcg/kg and repeated 10 days later is often used to treat lice infections but is not FDA approved for this purpose. Nits removal should be with a fine comb. Since most treatments do not entirely eradicate the eggs, retreatment is usually necessary seven to ten days later.

Pubic lice 

Pubic lice are smaller than head or body lice, measuring around 1 to 2 mm in length. They have six legs with two large front legs which resemble the pinchers of a crab. The distribution of pubic lice is generally limited to areas where the hair is short, such as pubic hair, but may occasionally be found on eyelashes, eyebrows, and axillary and beard hair. As with head lice, pubic lice have an egg, nymph and adult form. Transmission is usually through sexual contact, so infestations are most frequently found in adults. If pubic lice are found, clinicians should consider evaluating for the presence of other sexually transmitted infections. The symptoms of infestation are similar to that of head lice, and the finding of lice or nits in the pubic hair establishes the diagnosis. The treatment of pubic lice infestation is the same as that of head lice. Treatment of lice or nits found on the eyelashes involves the application of ophthalmic-grade petroleum ointment to the eyelid margins for 10 days.[3]

Body Lice

Unlike head and pubic lice, body lice do not live on the skin but rather live and lay their eggs in seams of clothing or bedding, moving to the skin only to feed. Body lice usually spread by direct contact but can also be transmitted through clothing, bed linens and towels. In the United States, body lice infestations are most commonly found in homeless populations. While body lice do share some symptoms with other lice, they produce more severe pruritus secondary to an allergic response to lice saliva. Areas of pyoderma may be found in areas covered by clothing such the axilla, trunk, and groin. Unlike head and pubic lice, diagnosis of an infestation is typically by finding eggs and lice in seams of clothing rather than on the skin. Treatment of body lice does not usually require the use of a pediculicide because improvements in hygiene, including showering and access to regular laundered clothing, will often eradicate the infestation. Wash all clothing, bed linens and towels in hot water and machine dry on the hot cycle. Itching can be treated with systemic antihistamines and antibiotics may be required for secondary infection. If pharmacologic treatment is deemed appropriate, it consists of the same agents utilized for pubic and head lice. Body lice pose significant health risks because of their ability to transmit the diseases of epidemic typhus, trench fever, and epidemic relapsing fever. [3]


Mosquitoes belong to the family Culicidae and are characterized by compound eyes, delicate wings, long thin legs, and proboscises which allow for biting and obtaining blood meals. Bites from mosquitoes produce minimal trauma and are often not felt by the host. The most common symptom is pruritus, and the most common cutaneous finding is the presence of urticarial wheals. Treatment of mosquito bites is symptomatic and includes ice application, topical corticosteroids, and systemic antihistamines. The greatest danger from mosquitos is their ability to transmit several serious diseases including malaria, filariasis, yellow fever, dengue fever, West Nile virus, Zika virus, and chikungunya.


There are a number of medically significant flies that bite humans, most notably the deer fly, horse fly, sand fly, and tsetse fly. When obtaining a blood meal, flies use their specially designed mouthparts to lacerate the skin, inject its anticoagulant-containing saliva and then suck up the resulting bleeding. Some flies can transmit serious diseases such as the Tsetse fly which transmits trypanosomiasis, the sand fly which transmits bartonellosis and leishmaniasis, and the deer fly which transmits tularemia. Some flies such as the black fly and horse fly can produce severe allergic and even anaphylactic reactions. Fly bites are usually quite painful and may produce significant cutaneous inflammation and the development of large urticarial wheals and papules. Treatment consists of symptomatic care including ice application, pain control with acetaminophen or NSAIDs, thorough washing of the wound, and systemic antihistamines for itching.

Myiasis is a condition that occurs when there is an infestation of fly larvae. Wound myiasis occurs when flies deposit larvae on or near a wound where they feed on the surrounding tissue. Copious irrigation will usually remove the larvae, but sometimes debridement is required.[4] Furuncular myiasis occurs when fly larvae burrow into the skin. The most notable cause of furuncular myiasis is the human botfly, found in the Caribbean and Central and South America. Transmission usually occurs when a female fly lays eggs directly on a blood-sucking insect such as a mosquito.[2] When the insect lands and bites its victim, the eggs get deposited on the skin, hatch, and the larvae quickly burrow under the skin and emerge fully mature after 5 to 10 weeks. Clinically, botfly larvae produce an erythematous papule or nodule with a central punctum representing the larva’s breathing tube [4]While the larvae will emerge spontaneously in 5 to 10 weeks, surgical incision and extraction are usually the treatment. Another treatment option is to cover the site with a thick layer of petroleum jelly or pork fat which occludes the larva’s breathing tube and causes it to emerge within 24 hours.[4]Additional treatment includes updating tetanus immunization, administering antibiotics if secondarily infected, and acetaminophen or NSAIDs for pain control.


The order Hymenoptera includes wasps, bees, yellow jackets, hornets and fire ants. These insects all have a painful sting delivered by their venom-injecting caudal stinger. The composition of these venoms are complex, and some have the potential for cross-sensitization. Local reactions to stings are most common and present with an immediate onset of localized pain, erythema and edema. Anaphylactic reactions may present with the initial symptoms of pruritus, facial flushing, and urticaria which can rapidly progress to wheezing, dyspnea, angioedema and stridor, vomiting, abdominal cramping, and syncope. The Apoidea family of Hymenoptera, consisting of honeybees and bumblebees, possess a stinger with curved barbs which remains in the victim following a sting. Africanized, or “killer” bees, are an extremely aggressive bee imported to the United States from Brazil in the late 1950s. They are most widely distributed in the southwestern United States, particularly Texas, Arizona, and California but have continued to migrate north and eastward. Wasps and yellow jackets comprise the Vespidae family which, unlike members of the Apoidea family, do not lose their stinger in an attack and have the ability to sting multiple times. 

Treatment of uncomplicated stings includes manual remover of the stinger, application of ice compresses, and analgesics for pain.  Short courses of systemic antihistamines and corticosteroids are effective for more severe localized reactions.[5]  

Fire ants are Hymenoptera belonging to the Formicidae family which live in large ground colonies in the southeastern United States. They may be red or black, are very aggressive, and often attack in swarms. Fire ants begin their attack by latching on to their victim with powerful jaws and then deliver up to 10 stings with their ovipositor. Their venom is composed of alkaloids and causes intense, burning-like pain. Their venom may produce anaphylaxis and has potential crossover sensitization with other Hymenoptera venom. As with the Vespidae and Apoidea families, most reactions consist of localized dermatologic findings. The presence of two central hemorrhagic puncta from the bite of the ant, surrounded by a ring of erythematous papules caused by the sting, is a distinctive characteristic.[5] These papules develop into vesicles and then sterile, pruritic pustules over 6 to 24 hours. Treatment is similar to that of other Hymenoptera stings.[2]


Fleas are wingless ectoparasites that feed on mammals and birds. They are 2 to 4 mm long, thin, and are red to brown. Flea bites typically present as erythematous papules, often with a hemorrhagic appearing center. Bites may also manifest as urticarial lesions, vesicles or bullae. The pruritus can be severe, and scratching of the lesions can result in skin excoriation and secondary bacterial infection. The primary goal in treating flea bites is to control the intense itching through the use of topical calamine lotion or corticosteroids, and systemic antihistamines. The most significant medical impact of fleas is their ability to serve as vectors for several serious, and potentially fatal diseases including tularemia, endemic typhus, and bubonic plague.


Arachnids are the class of arthropods that include ticks, mites, scorpions, and spiders.  


Nymphal and adult ticks are characterized by the presence of eight legs tipped with a pair of claws and an oval-shaped body which becomes engorged during feeding. Most ticks are categorized as hard ticks, belong to the Ixodidae family, or soft ticks belonging to the Argasidae family. Ticks feed by cutting a hole in the epidermis and injecting anticoagulants or compounds which inhibit platelet aggregation. Tick bites are usually painless and can present with a wide variety of rashes and other dermatologic findings, making diagnosis challenging. Bites often appear as an erythematous papule with surrounding erythema while others may present as pruritic urticarial lesions. Tick-borne infectious diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever present with characteristic rashes; however, these are not always identified.

The most significant impact of ticks on humans is their ability to serve as vectors for significant diseases including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, endemic typhus, ehrlichiosis, Q-fever, encephalitis, hemorrhagic fever, Lyme disease, relapsing fever, tularemia, babesiosis.

Simple, uncomplicated tick bites are treated with routine wound care, topical corticosteroids and systemic antihistamines for pruritic lesions and antibiotics if secondary infection is present. Ticks should be removed with fine-tipped tweezers, grasping the tick as close to the skin as possible and pulling upward with steady, gentle pressure. Other commonly touted methods of tick removal such as applying fingernail polish, alcohol or a hot extinguished match are not recommended as they do not affect detachment and may cause the tick to regurgitate into the wound, increasing the risk of disease transmission.[6]


Scabies is an infestation of the skin caused by the 8-legged human itch mite, Sarcoptes scabiei. The mite is small, around 0.4mm, and burrows into the stratum corneum layer of skin where it lays its eggs. Scabies has a worldwide distribution and usually spread through prolonged direct contact, often sexual. Initial infections are often asymptomatic for 2 to 6 weeks, and the development of symptoms is the result of an allergic response to mite proteins deposited under the skin.[4] The most common manifestations of scabies infestation include intense itching, often worse at night or with exposure to warm temperatures, and the presence of erythematous papules or nodules. Tiny burrows created by the tunneling of the female mite under the skin may appear as raised, linear or curved grayish-white lines on the skin surface, and sometimes contain a black speck representing the female mite. Cutaneous vesicles may be present but are a more common presentation of scabies infestation in infants and young children. The dermatologic findings in scabies infestations most commonly present in the web spaces of the fingers and toes, ventral surface of the wrist, elbows, back, buttocks and external genitals. The diagnostic basis is on symptoms of intense pruritis accompanied by the appearance of a corresponding rash or burrows. Confirmation of the diagnosis can is by microscopic evaluation of a skin scraping revealing the mite, its eggs or fecal material.[3]

Permethrin, 5% cream, is the drug of choice to treat scabies and is applied from the neck down at bedtime and then washed off in the morning. The recommendation is for two treatments administered a week apart.[3] While not FDA approved for the treatment of scabies, the oral antiparasitic agent Ivermectin is often used, especially in those who have failed other treatments or cannot tolerate topical medications.[4] Pruritus treatment from scabies infestation is with systemic antihistamines.

Norwegian scabies, also known as crusted scabies, is a severe form of scabies infestation that can occur in patients who are elderly, debilitated or immunocompromised. Unlike patients with typical scabies infection, those with Norwegian scabies manifest with thick hyperkeratotic skin, sometimes described as “dirty” in appearance. A treatment protocol for crusted scabies is published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) consisting of permethrin cream applied daily for 1 week then twice-weekly coupled with ivermectin 200 µg/kg on days 1, 2, 8, 9, and 15.[4]


Scorpions are large arachnids with a pair of anterior legs possessing pinchers. Their tail-like structure containing a stinger and two venom glands. In the United States, only the bark scorpion, Centruroides exilicauda, possesses venom with the potential to cause systemic toxicity.[7]Most stings produce only localized pain similar to that of Hymenoptera stings, and a diagnostic clue is increased sensitivity to touch or tapping on the area.[5] While systemic symptoms are uncommon, the venom from the bark scorpion can cause several adverse autonomic and motor effects such as hypertension, tachycardia, tachydysrhythmias, myoclonus, and fasciculations.[5] The clinical impacts of these effects can be especially severe in children.

The diagnosis of scorpion envenomation generally relies on a history of a scorpion sting, presence in a scorpion endemic region and characteristic findings of envenomation. In mild envenomation, laboratory studies are usually not needed.  In patients with moderate to severe symptoms, serum electrolytes, liver enzymes, creatine kinase, and urinalysis should are necessary. Additional studies such as a serum lipase, complete blood count, coagulation studies and an EKG may be required depending on patient presentation.

Except in the case of children, most stings manifest similarly to Hymenoptera stings and can be managed with supportive care including removing the stinger if present, cleaning the site with soap and water, ice application to the area and acetaminophen for pain. Agitation, muscle spasms and myoclonus should be managed with benzodiazepines while tachyarrhythmias and hypertension treatment is with intravenous beta-blockers. An FDA approved centruroides-specific antivenom is available but is only for cases of severe systemic toxicity.[1]


Spiders are carnivorous arthropods which use venom to immobilize, and in some cases, digest their prey. In North America, the two spiders that have the greatest potential to cause significant morbidity are the Black Widow and Brown Recluse.

Brown Recluse spiders (Loxosceles reclusa) are approximately 1 to 1.5 cm in length with a leg span of greater than 2.5 cm. They have a yellow to brown cephalothorax, a tan abdomen, and possess a violin-shaped marking on their dorsal cephalothorax which accounts for its nickname, the “fiddle-back” spider. They are predominantly found in the south and the central United States and reside in dark, dry places such as woodpiles, sheds, closets, and garages. Bites typically occur on the extremities when the spider’s dwelling is disturbed, or it feels threatened. Bites may be perceived as a sharp, stinging sensation but are often painless and cause only minor, inconsequential reactions, usually presenting as small erythematous lesions. Some bites will develop an area of cyanosis or pallor, sometimes with the appearance of hemorrhagic blisters, due to tissue ischemia.  The most common complication in serious envenomations is full-thickness skin necrosis which may require significant debridement and skin grafting.[1]

Brown recluse venom is extremely complex and contains hemolytic enzymes which can cause tissue destruction and necrosis. Diagnosis of uncomplicated brown recluse bites may be difficult as the initial bite is often painless and the spider may go unseen.  Diagnosis is usually based on history, especially if the spider was seen, in conjunction with the presence characteristic dermatologic findings. Treatment of brown recluse envenomation depends on the clinical presentation. In uncomplicated bites, treatment consists of routine wound care, evaluation of tetanus status, and the local application of ice which may decrease the activity of damaging enzymes found in the venom. In cases of necrotic ulceration, early excision is not a recommendation as it can result in recurrent wound breakdown, delayed healing, scarring, and long-term distal extremity dysfunction.[5]

Black Widows are spiders from the genus Latrodectus, with the most well-known being the North American black widow, Latrodectus mactans. There are five species of Latrodectus spiders found in North America, and only three of the five are black. They are approximately 1.5 cm in length and have up to a 4 cm leg span. Widow spiders are dark brown or black with a rounded, shiny abdomen and are most widely recognized for the presence of a red or orange hourglass on the ventral surface of their abdomen. They reside throughout the United States and prefer to spin their webs in dark, close quarters such as woodpiles, basements, crawl spaces, attics, and stored boxes. Most bites are defensive, occurring when the female spider perceives a threat to herself or her eggs, or when the spider is unintentionally disturbed. While the black widow has potentially dangerous venom, many bites result in only minimal symptoms and produce no severe damage.

Perception of the bite is usually as a sharp pinprick-like sensation which may develop into a dull ache or numbness at the site. Two red puncta may be visible, and surrounding erythema may appear within 60 minutes of the bite. Serious reactions may manifest as severe muscle spasms and pain in the chest, abdomen and lower back. Other clinical manifestations may include hypertension, sweating, salivation, restlessness, fasciculation, ptosis, nausea, vomiting, and dyspnea. Severe symptoms usually occur within 1 to 6 hours and last anywhere from 12 to 48 hours.

The venom of the black widow spider is most notable for the potent neurotoxin, alpha-latrotoxin, which unlike the brown recluse, does not cause local necrosis. Management for those without systemic symptoms is with supportive care including washing the bite site, application of an ice pack to the area, updating tetanus immunization, and treatment of pain with acetaminophen.[5] Muscle spasms, cramping, and pain are usually manageable with benzodiazepines and opiates.[7] A latrodectus antivenom, derived from horse serum, is available but reserved for those with significant systemic involvement.


Chiggers are tiny red mite larvae, measuring 0.3 to 1.0 mm in length, belonging to the Thrombiculidae family. Encounters with chiggers tend to be in tall grasses, weeds, and in woodlands. Infestations occur when mite larvae feed on human skin, predominantly in areas where they reach a constricting area of clothing such as at the ankles, thigh or waist. Bites are usually not felt initially, but an allergic reaction to the mite saliva causes the development of extremely pruritic red papules 3 to 14 hours later. Mites are visible on the skin as tiny red dots that will often crawl until reaching an area of clothing-skin interfaces such as the top of a sock or the belt-line of pants. If present, chiggers can easily be removed in the shower by scrubbing the skin with soap and water. The primary treatment is to control the intense itching with topical calamine lotion or corticosteroids and systemic antihistamines. Chiggers do not transmit any diseases in the U.S. but are vectors for Scrub Typhus in parts of Asia, Russia, and islands of the Indian and the Pacific Oceans.

Bites and Stings | Georgia Poison Center

Most stings or bites from an insect or spider will often cause minor swelling, redness, itching, and pain around the site. Some people are more sensitive and can experience an allergic reaction to stings and bites such as hives, rash, itchy palms and feet, swollen or itchy eyes, swelling of lips or throat, headache, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, fast heart rate, and difficulty breathing. If you are experiencing an allergic reaction, go to the nearest hospital or doctor right away and be sure to hire a pest control company like Sustainable Pest Systems.

Ants & Fire Ants


Can be found almost anywhere

  • Most people who are stung will have redness, itching, swelling and some pain around the sting site
  • If an allergic reaction occurs go to the nearest hospital
  • Do not disturb or stand near ant mounds
  • Check your surroundings
  • Wash the site with soap and water
  • Apply ice to reduce any swelling and pain
  • Apply an anti-itch product
  • Call the Georgia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for treatment advice
Bees, Wasps, Hornets and Yellow Jackets


More abundant in the warmer months. Nests and hives can be found under roofs, in trees, and on equipment like ladders.

  • Most people who are stung will have redness, itching, swelling and some pain around the sting site
  • Some people may get hives, rash, itching palms and feet
  • Others may experience headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting or difficulty breathing (if you have any of these symptoms, go to the nearest hospital or doctor right away)
  • Wear light colored, long sleeve shirts and pants
  • Avoid perfumed soaps, shampoo, and deodorants
  • Use insect repellents
  • If a stinger is present, remove  it by gently scraping across it with a flat object. Do not pinch the stinger or use tweezers, this may force venom (poison) into the skin
  • Remove any jewelry near the site, as swelling may occur
  • Wash the site with soap and water
  • Apply ice to reduce any swelling and pain
  • Call the Georgia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for treatment advice
Black Widow Spider


The female black widow is a black, shiny spider with a red or orange “hour glass” shape on her stomach. The smaller, brown male spider is not poisonous. The black widow spins her web in dark, quiet places – under rocks, debris and woodpiles. Black widows also like attics, cellars and damp storage areas.

  • The bite of a black widow may be painful
  • Within 1 hour after being bitten, you may experience stomach pain, dizziness, stiffness and have trouble breathing
  • When camping, picnicking or engaging in other outdoor activities wear long pants, long sleeves, gloves and shoes
  • Avoid walking in tall brush and shrubs
  • Do NOT reach into rocky cracks, under logs or large rocks
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET to your clothing and sparingly to your skin (always read the label before using)
  • Before dressing shake out clothing, shoes and hats that have not been worn for awhile
  • Get rid of clutter in basements, closets, attics and garages
  • Dust and vacuum around windows, corners of rooms, under furniture and in storage areas regularly
  • Wash the bite site with soapy water
  • Apply ice to reduce swelling and pain
  • Call the Georgia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 right away for more treatment advice
Brown Recluse Spider


The brown recluse is a yellowish-tan to dark brown spider. It is about the size of a quarter. The brown recluse has a dark “violin-shaped” marking on its head. This spider also spins its web in dark, quiet places.

  • The bite of a brown recluse may be very painful.
  • Within 36 hours after being bitten, you may experience restlessness, fever, chills, nausea, weakness and joint pain.
  • A “bulls-eye” like blister or wound may develop at the bite site. If the wound is not treated by a doctor, it may get larger.
  • When camping, picnicking or engaging in other outdoor activities wear long pants, long sleeves, gloves and shoes
  • Avoid walking in tall brush and shrubs
  • Do NOT reach into rocky cracks, under logs or large rocks
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET to your clothing and sparingly to your skin (always read the label before using)
  • Before dressing shake out clothing, shoes and hats that have not been worn for awhile
  • Get rid of clutter in basements, closets, attics and garages
  • Dust and vacuum around windows, corners of rooms, under furniture and in storage areas regularly
  • Wash the bite site with soapy water
  • Apply ice to reduce swelling and pain
  • Call the Georgia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 right away for more treatment advice
Saddleback Caterpillars


Bright green with a brown “saddle” mark on the middle of its back. The caterpillar also has “horns” on both ends of its body.

  • If your skin comes in contact with the caterpillar, fine hairs on its body may inject venom (poison) into your skin. The sting can be very painful and the pain will last until the hairs are removed.
  • People may experience itching, burning, or a severe allergic reaction. (If an allergic reaction occurs go to the nearest hospital)
  • Wear protective clothing and gloves
  • Avoid any contact with one
  • Remove the fine hairs by gently touching the sting site with a piece of scotch tape. Do not use the same piece of tape twice.
  • Wash the sting site with soapy water
  • Apply ice to reduce the stinging sensation followed by paste of baking soda and water
  • If you are stung and feel a burning pain, have swelling, nausea, headache or weakness, go to the nearest hospital or doctor right away. You may be having an allergic reaction.
  • Call the Georgia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for more treatment advice


The species of scorpions found in Georgia are not dangerous. Usually active at night and can be found hiding under rocks, wood, or anything else lying on the ground.

  • The sting of a scorpion is like the sting of a bee or wasp
  • May experience stinging or a burning sensation
  • Symptoms usually subside within 48 hours
  • Wear long sleeves and pants
  • Wear leather gloves
  • Shake out clothing or shoes before putting them on
  • Wash the site with soap and water
  • Apply ice to reduce swelling and pain
  • Call the Georgia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for treatment advice


Tick bites are fairly common and harmless, but sometimes they can cause Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

  • Rash, chills, joint and muscle pain, cough, headache, and diarrhea
  • Wear light colored clothing to help spot ticks
  • Wear long sleeves and pants tucked into your socks or boots
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET to your clothing and sparingly to your skin (always read the label before using)
  • After being outdoors check your body and hair for ticks
  • Protect your pets by using flea and tick sprays, collars or medication
  • Remove the tick by using a thin-tipped tweezers and grasping it as close to the skin surface as possible. Pull upward with a steady pressure, remove the entire tick and flush down the toilet
  • Wash the area with soap and water once the tick is removed
  • Call the Georgia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for more treatment advice



Snakes can be found everywhere in the state of Georgia. Snakes are territorial and will attack if they feel threatened. While most snakes in Georgia are nonvenomous, there are 6 that are venomous.

CopperheadCottonmouthTimber/Canebrake RattlesnakePygmy RattlesnakeEastern Diamondback RattlesnakeEastern Coral SnakeSAFETY TIPS

The copperhead snake is the most frequent venomous snake bite in Georgia. It is aggressive if provoked. It has an hourglass shaped pattern on its back when viewed from above. It is found all over Georgia.

  • Common Symptoms: swelling, pain, bruising, weakness, shock, nausea, vomiting and metallic taste in the mouth
  • First Aid: Do NOT use a tourniquet or attempt to restrict blood flow to the area; Do NOT cut the wound or attempt to suck out the venom; Do NOT apply ice or heat. Remove jewelry and tight clothing near the bite. Keep the bitten limb below heart level. Stay calm and go to your nearest emergency department

The cottonmouth snake is easily identified by its cotton-white mouth. The snake is territorial and its first warning is showing its mouth before it strikes. These snakes are darker in color and a pattern may not be easily identified. They are commonly found in south and middle Georgia, but have been seen all over Georgia. They tend to be found around wet areas like lakes, rivers and swamps.

  • Common Symptoms: swelling, pain, bruising, weakness, shock, nausea, vomiting and metallic taste in the mouth
  • First Aid: Do NOT use a tourniquet or attempt to restrict blood flow to the area; Do NOT cut the wound or attempt to suck out the venom; Do NOT apply ice or heat. Remove jewelry and tight clothing near the bite. Keep the bitten limb below heart level. Stay calm and go to your nearest emergency department

The timber/canebrake rattlesnake is reported to be less aggressive than other snakes but will still attack if provoked or if it feels threatened. This snake is found all over Georgia.

  • Common Symptoms: swelling, pain, bruising, weakness, shock, nausea, vomiting and metallic taste in the mouth
  • First Aid: Do NOT use a tourniquet or attempt to restrict blood flow to the area; Do NOT cut the wound or attempt to suck out the venom; Do NOT apply ice or heat. Remove jewelry and tight clothing near the bite. Keep the bitten limb below heart level. Stay calm and go to your nearest emergency department

The pygmy rattlesnake is smaller than other venomous snakes in Georgia and can be more easily overlooked. It is grey with black spots which easily camouflages it with gravel, rocks, leaves and even roadways. This snake is found all over Georgia.

  • Common Symptoms: swelling, pain, bruising, weakness, shock, nausea, vomiting and metallic taste in the mouth
  • First Aid: Do NOT use a tourniquet or attempt to restrict blood flow to the area; Do NOT cut the wound or attempt to suck out the venom; Do NOT apply ice or heat. Remove jewelry and tight clothing near the bite. Keep the bitten limb below heart level. Stay calm and go to your nearest emergency department

This is the largest venomous snake species in North America. It can grow up to 6 feet in length and is easily identified by its “diamond” shaped patterns on its back. This snake is very aggressive and can strike its entire body length away from it, so it is important to keep your distance as it is very territorial. While this snake has been found all over Georgia, this species is most frequently found in south and middle Georgia.

  • Common Symptoms: swelling around the bite site that spreads, nausea and vomiting
  • First Aid: Do NOT use a tourniquet or attempt to restrict blood flow to the area; Do NOT cut the wound or attempt to suck out the venom; Do NOT apply ice or heat. Stay calm and go to your nearest emergency department

The eastern coral snake lacks long fangs and will bite and stay attached as it chews to get venom into the skin. This snake is often confused with the non-venomous Kingsnake because of their similar patterns and colors (red, black and yellow or white). “Red on yellow, kill a fellow. Red on black, venom-lack”. If red bands are touching a yellow band then it is the venomous eastern coral snake. This snake is commonly found in south and coastal Georgia.

  • Common Symptoms: paralysis, swelling, pain, bruising, weakness, shock, nausea, vomiting and metallic taste in the mouth
  • First Aid: Do NOT use a tourniquet or attempt to restrict blood flow to the area; Do NOT cut the wound or attempt to suck out the venom; Do NOT apply ice or heat. Remove jewelry and tight clothing near the bite. Keep the bitten limb below heart level. Stay calm and go to your nearest emergency department
  • When camping, picnicking or engaging in other outdoor activities, wear long pants, long sleeves, gloves, and shoes; avoid walking in tall brush and shrubs
  • Wear shoes and heavy pants when walking and hiking in areas where snakes are likely to be found
  • Do not reach into rocky cracks, under logs, or large rocks
  • Do not touch a snake, even if a snake looks dead. A snake can still bite up to one hour after its death.
  • Do not tease a snake
  • Listen for hissing or rattling sounds as this can be a warning that you are irritating a snake
More Resources

Bruise after an insect bite

Why do bruises remain after mosquito bites


  • 1 Nutritional process
  • 2 Consequences of bites
  • 3 Causes of hematomas

Mosquito bites Bruise from a mosquito bite

Swelling from mosquito bites does not swell much less often, … Each organism individually reacts to damage to the integrity of the skin, the ingress of a foreign substance. Most of the population gets off with small blisters up to 5 mm in diameter, which disappear without special treatment in 3 days.Some people get bruised after being attacked by insects.

Feeding process

The mouth apparatus of the mosquito contains 5 special needles, 4 mandibles, a proboscis for sucking blood. Each part of the mouth apparatus performs its own function. Initially, the pest bites through the skin with powerful mandibles, then uses needles. On two of them there are sharp bristles – about 50 pieces, which are usually called mosquito teeth. They help to make the wound deeper, literally tearing the skin.The rest of the needles push the epidermis apart, preventing the wound from closing.


The mosquito inserts the proboscis into the wound, injects a special enzyme that prevents blood from clotting, facilitates the feeding process. This substance is a strong allergen, therefore it causes an instant reaction of the immune system to what is happening.

Consequences of bites

In most cases, there is swelling, redness, severe itching. How much this all will be expressed depends on the individual characteristics of the organism.A normal reaction is if the size of the blister is not more than 5 mm, the edema disappears within 2 hours, the itching stops within 24 hours.

With increased itching, an increase in the extent of redness, they speak of allergies. To alleviate the symptoms, folk remedies, special antihistamines are used.


A strong allergic reaction to mosquitoes can be judged by an additional rash on the body, unbearable itching, a general deterioration in well-being. There may be nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, decreased blood pressure, difficulty breathing.To eliminate painful symptoms, local hormonal preparations, antihistamine tablets are used.

Causes of hematomas

Bruises after mosquito bites appear for several reasons:

  • extremely high sensitivity of the skin;
  • individual body reaction to mosquito poison;
  • tendency to allergies;
  • problems with blood vessels;
  • bite with rupture of a blood vessel in the “unfortunate” place, there is a bruise under the skin;
  • long-term use of antiallergic drugs.

A bruise at the site of the bite in a mild form occurs the day after an insect attack, passes on its own without special treatment, or folk remedies are used in the form of lotions from medicinal plants.

A moderate bruise after a mosquito bite is present for a long time, slight pain is felt when pressed. It is easily treatable with pharmacy remedies for insect bites – Rescuer, Bepanten, Zvezdochka balm, Fenistil gel, creams based on herbal extracts, oils.


Large bruises, painful, which are present for a long time, indicate the presence of problems in the functioning of the vascular system, a strong allergic reaction, or improper use of glucocorticosteroids, for example, Hydrocortisone ointment. After hormonal ointment, atrophy appears, thinning of the skin, discoloration – cyanosis. In this case, you should seek help from specialists.

Any hematomas should not be neglected, even if they do not cause pain.

Hematoma after an insect bite?


Hello everyone. I really hope for the help of the collective mind. After tonight, the child is 9 months old. a hematoma about 1 cm long and 3 mm wide appeared on the shoulder closer to the neck. He sleeps in a crib, so there was simply nothing to hit and pinch.

Yesterday evening I noticed a small beige speck on this place like a trace from an insect bite. And next to it, a piece of skin hung down. There was no redness, did not scratch. Yesterday and today, the child’s behavior is normal.Didn’t attach any importance and decided to watch. Today in the morning there is such a spot, in the middle there was a blackened piece of skin a couple of millimeters in height, half an hour after waking it fell off. We are at a dacha in the suburbs, with medicine here, as it turned out, so-so. The village pediatrician referred to a dermatologist at the children’s hospital in the regional center with a diagnosis of a hematoma of unknown origin. The dermatologist waved her off and said that we were to see a surgeon. When I asked if the cause of such a hematoma could be a bite, for example, a midge, she said no.In the morning I googled, they write what they can. But we have a strange shape, like a red stripe. The surgeon at the regional center is on vacation until next Wednesday. And in the Moscow polyclinic in general until mid-August. Maybe someone had something similar? What could be? What they were doing? How quickly did it go? Considering yesterday’s beige dot that looked like a bite, and a piece of skin that turned black and fell off today, I hope it’s still a midge and such an individual reaction. But why didn’t it itch and it doesn’t itch. And the dermatologist rejected this version…

Many thanks in advance for the opinions. After 6 hours of fruitless trips to doctors, I am somewhat desperate – it was possible during this time to roll to Moscow, and now it’s Friday evening …

Tags: Geo: Moscow region, allergies / dermatitis

Quieter grass: insect bites

To darken the long-awaited summer may not only rain or heat. The annoying buzz of insects is quickly added to the rustle of foliage and the singing of birds. Departure to the dacha, a picnic outside the city, a walk in the woods or a hiking trip – stinging and biting companions accompany you everywhere.It is not easy to escape from them in the city.

Insect bites: how to treat and why are they dangerous?

Photo: Shutterstock

Poisonous insects do not inhabit most of Russia. However, the bite of almost any insect can cause an allergic reaction, including a very severe one: suffocation, anaphylactic shock. The most serious health consequences – kidney failure, seizures and even paralysis – are usually caused by bee, wasp or hornet stings, especially multiple stings.In addition, insects can carry a variety of diseases, many of which are life-threatening.

With a bite, you can contract, for example, encephalitis or borreliosis (vectors – ticks), malaria (vectors – mosquitoes), typhoid and rickettsiosis (carried by lice)

In most cases, insect bites are still not so much dangerous as unpleasant: they can cause swelling, swelling, itching, pain, burning. When scratching, the affected area is often infected.

Bites of almost all insects cause similar symptoms, but external signs can still tell you which insect stung you, as well as distinguish a bite from an allergic reaction to food or the result of touching a plant that causes burns.

So, with bites of bees, hornets or wasps, more noticeable and painful swelling is formed than with mosquito bites. In this case, a sting may remain in the center of the edema. A midge usually leaves a bruise, not a swelling, but gadflies and gadflies – large noticeable swelling, accompanied by almost unbearable itching.

The site of the tick’s suction is usually no different from the bites of other insects. However, if the tick was a carrier of Lyme disease (borreliosis), after 5-7 days the bite takes on a characteristic appearance, which makes it possible to conclude that it is infected.At the site of the tick’s suction, a large round or oval red spot is formed, gradually increasing and taking the form of a wide ring with a painful swelling in the center. This is erythema annular, indicating the initial stage of tick-borne borreliosis.

Bites of “domestic” insects (bugs, fleas) differ markedly from mosquitoes or bees. Flea bites appear as numerous red dots, red itchy bumps appear at the sites of bedbug bites, often with a bubble in the center.In this case, the tubercles are located in the form of a kind of “path”.

Signs of a severe allergic reaction require immediate medical attention:

  • severe edema at the site of the bite
  • edema that occurs far from the site of the bite – on the joints of the arms and legs, face, neck
  • the appearance of a rash
  • difficulty in breathing
  • dizziness, heart palpitations, low blood pressure

Most often, allergies are noted for stings of bees, hornets, wasps.Their poison is capable of causing the most severe reactions, including sudden death.

Sometimes insects (usually bees or wasps) enter the mouth unnoticed along with fruits and berries and sting on the tongue or lip. Such bites are very painful, cause severe swelling and even suffocation. In this case, you cannot do without a doctor’s examination, as with an insect bite in the eye – damage to the eyelid or eyeball can lead to temporary loss of vision.

Folk remedies for insect bites

If a child has suffered from a bee, wasp or hornet sting, he must be taken to the hospital – the reaction of the child’s body may not come immediately, but after a while and be very unpredictable

Be sure to show up a doctor needs it in case you have been bitten by a tick.In this case, it is necessary to try to carefully remove the sucked insect and take it to the laboratory for analysis.

If you have reason to believe that nothing threatens your health, you can relieve the unpleasant consequences of bites – itching, pain, swelling and redness – with the help of a home first aid kit.

First of all, remove the sting of the insect if it remains in the wound. Apply ice or a cold compress to relieve inflammation. You can make a lotion with a solution of baking soda.You can get rid of itching with antihistamine gels or strong black or green tea lotions. In no case should you comb the bite sites, even if it was not possible to completely remove the itching – the damaged skin becomes easily infected.

Effective repellents have been developed to repel most blood-sucking insects. Treat all exposed areas of the body with them if you are going to spend time in nature. You can also spray your clothes.

How to treat insect bites

Photo: Shutterstock

Place mosquito nets on the windows or tighten them with gauze.Use fumigators, but be careful: some of them are not intended for use in rooms with pregnant women and small children.

Try not to eat fruits, berries, ice cream, and other sweets on the street – their smell can attract wasps and bees. Fruits, cut watermelon or melon left on the table or on the windowsill carefully inspect before eating, so as not to swallow the wasp along with the treat. If you notice a bee or wasp circling near you, do not wave your arms so as not to provoke its attack.

When going for an evening walk, wear long sleeves and trousers or a skirt that covers your legs, otherwise you will become an easy target for mosquitoes. They are especially active at dusk.

See also: salt in the body

Allergy to mosquito bites: what to do?

Horsefly bite – we treat correctly

Summer has come. We again break out of stuffy apartments and enjoy the sun. And what a pleasure it is to run in the morning through the dew, sit with a fishing rod in the evening dawn, find a strawberry meadow, or just sunbathe and swim in the river.However, a pleasant rest is often interrupted by a horsefly bite. This dangerous insect is capable of quite noticeably spoiling life and putting it out of action for several days.

So, what is a horsefly, is its bite dangerous for humans and how to protect yourself from it? We will answer these and many other questions below.

Female bovine horsefly

Interesting facts from the life of horseflies

Horseflies are a type of gnat (dipteran blood-sucking insects), which require human or animal blood to reproduce.Their number and species composition depends on climatic conditions and time of year. The favorite habitats of bloodsuckers are forests, banks of rivers and lakes, parks with dense vegetation, pastures. Often found in the steppes and deserts, on the streets of large cities. The active years of horseflies, similar to large flies, begins at the end of June. Insects love hot and calm weather very much. They are especially attracted by the smell of sweat and damp body.

This is interesting. Only female horseflies bite at the time of breeding.Males feed exclusively on plant nectar.

Three types of bloodsuckers are most often found on the territory of Russia:

  1. Bovine horseflies. These dark brown flies range in size from 10 to 25 mm. They prefer the edges of forests and pastures, breed near rivers and swamps, laying eggs in the grass.
  2. Raincoats. Smaller insects (10-15 mm) are especially active before rain. Their wings are marbled.
  3. Lacewing (speckled). Small (10-11 mm) flies of dark gray color with a yellow belly.Wings in males are black, in females they are transparent, with a dark pattern. They prefer the banks of rivers and lakes.

It looks like a gadfly

Very often, horseflies are called gadflies, not seeing the difference between them. It’s a delusion. Gadflies belong to the group of parasitic flies and do not drink human or animal blood. Their mouth organs are underdeveloped and incapable of nutrition. In appearance, gadflies resemble bumblebees.

How is a horsefly bite manifested?

Horsefly is a rather large insect and it is difficult not to notice its approach.However, this is most often the case. A person regains consciousness only at the moment of the bite, feeling a sharp pain and burning sensation. The female’s trunk is equipped with many razor-sharp stilettos, which not only pierce, but cut the skin.

The first symptoms of a horsefly bite develop very quickly. The area around the wound before the eyes turns red and swells, painful itching appears. Chills may occur, sometimes the victim complains of body aches and dizziness. What the gadfly bite leads to, you can see in the photo.

Children can hardly bear the bites of horseflies

Attention. Symptoms become more pronounced after several hours. The gadfly bite itches strongly, a seal appears around the wound, swelling grows.

An anticoagulant injected by horsefly at the time of skin damage often triggers an immune response in the body. Children and people prone to allergies are especially prone to such a reaction. In recent years, even a single bite is increasingly causing a lot of problems and requires medical treatment.

If the attacks of the bloodsucker were multiple in nature, the victim’s well-being after a while noticeably worsens. At the same time, symptoms of general intoxication of the body develop:

  • headache;
  • chills;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • increase in body temperature;
  • loss of consciousness.

If such signs of discomfort appear, call an ambulance or consult a doctor yourself.

Edema is the main symptom of the bite

It is the edema that causes the victim the most suffering.It is always accompanied by redness, soreness and severe itching. In people with thin and delicate skin, and most often they are women and children, the swelling quickly grows to an enormous size, becomes hot to the touch and takes on a dense consistency.

In children, edema after a horsefly bite is especially pronounced

Edema after a horsefly bite lasts for several days and often turns into a bruise. Its severity depends on the individual characteristics of the person, the size of the sucked insect and the time spent on the body.

In persons with a tendency to allergies, edema takes on pathological forms. It is not limited to the site of the lesion and nearby tissues, but extends to the entire affected limb.

Consequences of a horsefly bite

Inhabitants of modern cities do not often encounter these bloodthirsty insects. Therefore, not everyone knows how long a horsefly bite takes and what it can lead to.

Let’s start with the fact that all people are different. Someone forgets about the meeting with the bloodsucker the very next day.Usually these are men who experience discomfort only in the first few hours after the bite.

It is much more difficult for women and children. Thin, delicate skin and a high susceptibility to antigens contained in saliva lead to long-term resorption of the edema. All symptoms disappear only on the 5-7th day.

But there are exceptions. In isolated cases, after a horsefly bite, serious consequences develop:

  1. Enlargement of nearby lymph nodes.
  2. Formation of a painful lump at the site of the lesion, which takes a very long time to dissolve.This symptomatology is typical for children.
  3. Infection of the bite site with subsequent inflammation and suppuration. Most often it develops after scratching the wound.
  4. Allergic reaction. It is observed in the first hours after the attack of the bloodsucker. Usually goes away on its own, but sometimes requires specific treatment. The manifestations of allergies are very diverse, so let’s talk about them separately.

In people with poor blood clotting, the wound may bleed for some time after the itching and swelling have passed.

Allergy as a complication of the bite

In recent years, allergy to horsefly bite has become quite common. The most susceptible to such a reaction are people who already have a history of a tendency to autoimmune processes.

This is how a horsefly bite looks like in people prone to allergies

Attention. The risk group also includes children and people with immunodeficiency. Imperfection or damage to the immune system leads to the penetration of saliva antigens into the general bloodstream and the development of powerful autoimmune reactions.

Horsefly bite allergy manifests itself as follows:

  • hives-type skin rash that occurs throughout the body;
  • decrease in blood pressure;
  • profuse sweating;
  • nasal congestion;
  • shortness of breath;
  • vomiting.

In severe cases, anaphylactic shock may develop. This situation is extremely rare and requires urgent medical attention.

Why else is a horsefly bite dangerous for humans? Females of gnus, being bloodsuckers, can act as carriers of anthrax, helminthic infestations, trypanosomiasis, tularemia and other diseases.

First aid for a horsefly bite

Horseflies do not come across to us as often as mosquitoes, but the consequences of their bite are much more serious. Therefore, it will not be superfluous to know how to behave correctly after meeting them:

  1. The bitten place must be pressed down with a hard object. You can take a coin or just press the wound with your finger.
  2. Wash the affected area with cool water and soap and treat with any antiseptic.
  3. Apply an ice pack to relieve pain and swelling.
  4. A lotion of baking soda or the application of a special cream will help eliminate itching and redness.

It is recommended to wash the bite site with soap and water.

Advice. If a horsefly has bitten an arm or leg and the limb is swollen, heavy and hot, an antihistamine should be taken.

Treatment of horsefly bite

If the victim was not provided with first aid in a timely manner or it did not bring the desired effect, it is necessary to carry out drug treatment of horsefly bites.Therapeutic measures are usually resorted to by those at risk. Everyone else usually does not need medical attention.

Pharmacy products

An integrated approach is used to treat bites. It includes lotions, ointments and systemic therapy preparations:

  1. Antihistamines – Suprastin, Zirtek, Claritin. With severe edema, intramuscular administration of drugs is possible.
  2. Compresses with Dimexide, ammonia, baking soda, diphenhydramine.
  3. Anti-inflammatory ointments based on glucocorticoids – Hydrocortisone, Trimistin, Prednisolone. A remedy for horsefly bites is generously applied to the affected area several times a day or ointment applications are made.
  4. For better healing and reducing itching, local preparations are used – Rescuer, Bepanten, Panthenol, Fenistil-gel.

If severe swelling appears after a bite, you must take a Claritin tablet.

Advice. If the wound is suppurating or a painful lump has formed at the site of the bite, it is necessary to consult a surgeon.The doctor will open the abscess, cleanse the tissue, and apply an ointment bandage.

Folk remedies

Very often horsefly bites occur in the field, where it is not possible to use pharmaceutical products. The victim has to be content with what is at hand. And I must say, medicinal herbs help no worse than patented medicines.

So, how to treat edema from a horsefly bite with folk remedies? For the effect of herbal medicine to be the best, it is necessary to select plants with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic action:

  • plantain;
  • dandelion;
  • mint;
  • strawberries;
  • yarrow.

The herbs must be kneaded well until juice appears and applied to the bitten area.

Plantain will help relieve swelling and itching after a bite.

Advice. If an unpleasant encounter with a horsefly occurred in the garden, you can use a cabbage leaf for treatment. This compress quickly relieves swelling, redness and itching.

Salt or vodka lotion helps a lot. Those who are especially desperate can dilute salt in vodka, moisten gauze or cloth in the solution and apply to the bite at night.

What not to do after being bitten by a horsefly

Above we examined how to help a victim of a bloodsucker. Now let’s briefly dwell on certain points that must be taken into account when treating:

  • you cannot comb the wound and open the bite site;
  • it is forbidden to apply warming compresses to the affected area;
  • It is not recommended to take antibacterial drugs to eliminate edema and inflammation. In the absence of a secondary infection, they are useless.

If a gadfly bite fell on a mole, in no case do not leave the situation unattended. See your doctor right away. Do not start topical treatments without their permission. Damage to nevus cells can provoke their degeneration into a malignant form.

How to protect yourself from horsefly bites

The bite of a bloodsucker, of course, is not fatal, but it is better not to meet with these dangerous insects. A few simple rules will allow you to keep your health and nerves:

  1. Horseflies attack only on a warm sunny day.Consider this circumstance and be careful at this time.
  2. Vile loves a dark color and an open body, so for walks in the forest, use a suit of light colors with long sleeves and legs.
  3. Repellants, which should be applied to clothing and exposed areas of the body, will help scare off bloodsuckers. People with individual insecticide intolerance are recommended to use natural products with a pungent odor: essential oils, Golden Star balm.
  4. Medicinal herbs with a tart aroma disorient and repel horseflies.You can lubricate unprotected areas of the body with the leaves of plants rubbed until sap appears.
  5. To prevent insects from entering the house, it is necessary to install mosquito nets. It is recommended to cover the baby in the stroller with a special canopy. You can also protect your baby cot in the same way.

Thick clothing and a protective mask will save you from horseflies.

Tip. To reduce the number of bloodsuckers in the country, plant pungent-smelling plants around the perimeter: marigolds, geraniums, mint and lavender.

We are part of the natural biosphere, in which we have to coexist with various organisms, including parasitic ones. There is no escape from this, which means that it is necessary to take all possible measures to protect against bloodsuckers. If the horsefly did get bitten, don’t panic. That’s not fatal. Timely and competent actions will help minimize the consequences of an unpleasant meeting.

Attention. The article is for informational purposes only. Consultation with a specialist is required.

Have you read it? Don’t forget to rate (votes: 20, Average rating: 4.65 out of 5) Loading …


Latest comments

90,000 Dangerous insects and their bites – blog of the ON Clinic medical center

Summer gives not only warm days and the opportunity to relax in nature, but also stinging, biting insects. Due to our negligence, a hike in the mountains, a picnic or a vacation can be ruined, and the health consequences will have to be settled for more than one week.


Outdoor activities can lead to unpleasant exposure to ticks. It doesn’t matter where we are located: in the yard, in the city park or in the forest. Every year, these insects conquer more and more green areas, and cases of infection with borreliosis or encephalitis are becoming more frequent.

Tick season lasts as long as warm weather costs. Fortunately, in our country, most of the diseases transmitted by ticks are not spread due to the small number of dangerous tick-like species in comparison with other countries.For example, in the United States, Canada and Brazil, more than 600 people are infected with Rocky Mountain spotted fever every year. It is a disease caused by a tick that carries rickettsia bacteria. However, Lyme disease, caused by ticks, can also be contracted in Ukraine.

Tick bites

Ticks are carriers of many infectious diseases, including typhus. As soon as a tick hits our skin, it is able to move around the body, looking for more comfortable places to live. Closed clothing without folds in light shades and insect repellent help prevent tick bites in high-risk areas (in the forest, among the wild).

Tick bites are not immediately detectable. Sometimes there is no inflammation, allergic or toxic reaction on the skin. Infectionists explain this by the fact that by piercing the skin, the tick injects an anesthetic that acts as a pain reliever. For this reason, the bitten person does not feel pain.

Lyme disease

The most dangerous ticks are considered to transmit Lyme disease. Its symptoms are reduced to the appearance of red circles on the skin, headache, skin rash, fatigue, fever.In the absence of treatment, the work of the nervous and cardiovascular systems is disrupted, the joints suffer. In most cases, the disease is successfully treated with antibiotics. The sooner you see a doctor, the less the threat to your health.

Specialists of the ON Clinic network of medical centers advise to develop a useful habit: after relaxing in nature, go to the bathroom and carefully examine all the attractive places for ticks (scalp, face, area behind the ears, armpits, area under the knees, chest , upper and lower limbs).

After each walk, take a shower, wash your clothes thoroughly. If an insect is found, contact a dermatologist or infectious disease doctor. Removing the insect yourself can increase the risk of infection. For example, due to:

  • insufficient disinfection;
  • incomplete tick extraction;
  • low immunity;
  • the presence of other infectious diseases or inflammatory processes in the body.

Spider Black Widow

These spiders are also called karakurt – they are the heroes of many films.The most dangerous are the females of these predatory arthropods. Poisonous spiders can bite and pose a threat to human health and life. By nature, they are not aggressive and only bite for self-defense purposes (for example, after being accidentally pressed down). The widow spider is able to move quickly and attack at the most unexpected moment. Karakurt live mostly in the south of Ukraine (Azov region, Black Sea region, Kherson region).

Black Widow Bites

Spider venom can cause pain shock, increased blood pressure, nausea, vomiting and muscle cramps, as well as feelings of fear.Redness forms at the site of the bite. Doctors recommend immediately calling an ambulance and reporting a suspicion of a karakurt bite in order to prevent the possible development of hypertension, bronchorrhea or seizures. Poisonous substances quickly spread throughout the body and can cause irreparable harm to health.


The favorite place of lice is hair. You can pick them up using a comb, headdress, scarf of an infected person. If your head starts to itch, don’t ignore it.Ask any family member to check your nape, neck, and behind the ears. If you find parasites, try not to scratch your scalp. The wounds contribute to the rapid penetration of infection into the bloodstream.

How to get rid of lice

To get rid of nits (lice eggs that adults lay on clothes or hair), use lice remedies in accordance with the instructions and as directed by a dermatologist (lotions, shampoos, creams). During the treatment of head lice, you need to keep your clothes, underwear, bedding, and hygiene items clean.For those who are not infected, it is important to be careful when dealing with infected people and to take preventive measures:

  • follow the rules of personal hygiene;
  • to use only their own things and not to give them to the infected for temporary use;
  • Vacuum blankets, pillows, carpets and change bedding daily.


Fleas can annoy not only pets, but also people. They bite painfully, resulting in itchy blisters.Sometimes a person may experience an allergic reaction: swelling and even purulent inflammation on the skin.

Flea bites

You need to start getting rid of parasitic organisms with the purchase of protective equipment for animals. Disinfectants will help reduce the discomfort after a bite in a person. Dermatologists advise treating bite sites with disinfectant solutions or ointments purchased from a pharmacy, specialized medical institutions.

To prevent re-infection, take care of the sterility of the pet’s habitat, keep track of his social circle on walks.First of all, prohibit contact with stray animals.

Bee, wasp, hornet

In case of bee stings, it is important to quickly remove the sting. But a wasp or hornet can inflict two or more bites at once – they do not lose their sting at the first bite, so their attack is more dangerous. As a rule, redness and swelling appear at the site of the bite. And only after a while, side effects can occur: nausea, headache, weakness.

Treatment of a sting of a bee, wasp, hornet

If there is no allergic reaction, it is enough to pull out the sting (if any), and treat the bite site with an antiseptic and apply cold.If you experience an atypical reaction or if you are bitten in the face, larynx, tongue, genitals, seek immediate medical attention. If you ignore what happened, anaphylactic reactions of varying severity can occur, which can even lead to death.


Sarcoptes scabei (Scabies itch) can be contracted through direct contact with an infected person or using common hygiene products.The incubation period for infection is from several hours to 1-2 weeks. The bite of the parasite causes severe itching on the skin, often worsening towards night.

Treatment of scabies

A dermatologist will help get rid of scabies after examining the patient and making a diagnosis. It is advisable to wash the patient’s clothes in hot water, to keep the bedding sterile. At the doctor’s discretion, the patient is prescribed antihistamines to relieve itching. The method of treatment is aimed at destroying the pathogen by using drugs with acaricidal action.These are drugs aimed at fighting ticks (acaricides are ticks: ancient Greek ἄκαρι – tick and Latin caedo – I kill).

Bed bugs

Bed bugs can be found in bed linen in hotels and inns. They can even settle in your luggage or on your pet’s belongings. They become most active at night.

On average, the life expectancy of these bloodsucking is about a year. They can be easily confused with other small insects and can often be identified by small red blood stains on your bedding in the morning.After quenching their thirst, they become clumsy, move slowly, and therefore during sleep it is easy to crush them with the weight of their body.

Bedbug bites

Red bites on the arms or shoulders are bug marks. In no case should you comb them (you can make an infection). An effective antihistamine can be used as directed by a dermatologist.

In order to prevent re-infection, contaminated bedding, decor items, toys or other furniture should be carefully handled.This can be done in dry cleaning, using heat treatment or special means. Be sure to ensure the cleanliness of things in the house, refuse to use other people’s bedding and towels.


Flies live everywhere and carry such dangerous diseases as pneumonia and intestinal infections. During epidemics, they are able to carry pathogens over long distances, increasing the focus of infection.

Fly bites are painful and cause redness.The bitten place must be immediately treated with an antiseptic solution, and also not to eat the food and drinks on which representatives of the Diptera family have landed. Flies, like midges, like to settle near garbage cans and dead animals.


You must always be saved from mosquitoes, because they are carriers of malaria and other diseases. Mosquito repellents, protective clothing, gazebo window screens and scented sticks are suitable for this.When using skin sprays or creams, be sure to do an allergic reaction test. If available, it is better to select a remedy with your doctor.

Observations show that some people who are in the same place where mosquitoes gather, bite with different strengths and frequency. This can be explained by the fact that each insect perceives the smell of a person differently: for him it is more or less attractive. This is tantamount to susceptibility to bites: some develop a strong reaction, others weaker.And this depends on the toxicity of the saliva composition of the mosquito that inflicted the “blow”.


You can meet these six-legged companions not only outside the house, but also within it. They can do without food for a long time, can damage the integrity of food, leather goods, books. Cockroaches are omnivorous and can feed on garbage or feces. Many of them move through the sewer, garbage chute or attic. Therefore, their lifestyle can negatively affect any person: they threaten gastroenteritis, dysentery or diarrhea.

Certain species of cockroaches, for example, yellow cockroaches, can bite (in the neck, bends of the limbs). As a result, a wound with a small crust appears, which can become inflamed. Cockroaches carry many pathogenic microorganisms on their legs and abdomen. When combing the blister, they can get inside and parasitize in the human body. Cockroach bites must be treated with an antiseptic.

Make an appointment with a dermatologist at the ON Clinic network of medical centers in your city if you are bitten by an insect.An experienced doctor will help you effectively and quickly deal with the consequences of any bite.

Enjoy the summer, but be careful and careful!

Article rating:

5 out of 5 based on 3 ratings

Ask your question to a dermatologist

ON Clinic

How to understand which insect has bitten you

“VM” tells how to find out exactly who bit you and what to do to suffer from bites less.

They buzz, squeak, scurry.For-dol-ba-li. But – summer is red, where to go. It was also printed by Pushkin: “Oh, summer is red, I would love you, if it weren’t for dust, dirt, not mosquitoes and flies …” What to do – not only us, but also insects like a wonderful time of the year.

Of course, not all insects bite us, but many. And then the bite site hurts and itches, sometimes the bite provokes allergy attacks. And it is very important to immediately understand who actually bit you.

Sometimes there is no need for this definition – the culprit is already obvious.And sometimes you don’t immediately understand who it was that behaved so unfriendly. We will try to figure it out.


The pain of a bite appears almost instantly. As a rule, a bite looks like this: a point, around it a pale spot, and around it there is redness with severe swelling. Several bites can cause severe allergies, which are accompanied by weakness, itching, and sometimes numbness of the bitten leg and arm.

Unlike bees, wasps can sting a person as many times as they want – their sting does not remain in the body of the bitten one.By the way, the sting of a wasp is perhaps the sharpest object in nature! That is why, by the way, it is more correct to say about the wasp that it “stung” and not “bit”. The person himself can provoke the aggressive behavior of wasps – with sharp movements, and women – with the scent of perfume. Do not scent in nature, it causes unhealthy interest in insects …

Antihistamines should be taken immediately! And if you are allergic, do not hesitate to seek medical help. Bites to the head and neck are especially dangerous.

At the time of the incident, there were no children on the territory of the garden / Photo: Natalya Feoktistova


The bite of this insect is remembered for a lifetime. It hurts like hell. The overwhelming majority of people have a fever from a hornet bite, the bite swells terribly and does not itch, namely, it hurts – as if the limb was cut off, poured with boiling water, etc. Hornets are aggressive, arrogant, they attack if they are trying to drive them away – in a word, this is one of the most serious enemies of man in nature. True, in our latitudes, when providing assistance from bites, no one dies, but in Japan, for example, where hornets are incredibly poisonous, in some years up to forty people die from their bites.

In fact, hornets do not bite people often, and only if they sense the danger posed by them. If, for example, someone threatens their nest, waves their hands, tries to slap a newspaper – which, by the way, is absolutely useless. Hornet venom is also more “protective”. But many of its components are found in the venom … of the rattlesnake! Thus, phospholipases and orientotoxin cause destruction of cell walls. Their contents flow into the intercellular space, a focus of inflammation arises, and then – if the walls of blood vessels are damaged – hemorrhage occurs, followed by suppuration.

Phospholipases are just an integral component of snake venom. And acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that activates nerve endings. When it gets into the tissues, there is a feeling that the nerve nodes are either beaten with a hammer or cut with a knife. There is also a large amount of histamine, which provokes allergic reactions, and biogenic amines initiate an increase in heart rate and activation of respiration. What is curious: in general, the toxicity of the hornet venom is less than the toxicity of the venom of the same bee, but the pain of the sting is much more acute and prolonged.


Workers are good for everyone, but they bite. The bite is a bright red dot, sometimes with “gnawing” a piece of skin. A tight, hot, sometimes painful red swelling is quickly poured around the bite – a cake. As a rule, the bite is accompanied by a burning sensation, gaps, empty spaces can form inside the “cake”, sometimes small scars remain in this place as a keepsake.


The bite is accompanied by fiery itching, swelling. The bite site is very hot, by the way, this is called hyperthermia; in the center of the edema, sometimes a double point is visible, sometimes a cut.It gets worse from scratching.

To relieve swelling at the site of the bite, you need to attach something cold to the center (a piece of ice wrapped in a handkerchief from the freezer), then wipe the site of the bite with an alcohol solution (if you take alcohol, then dilute it 1: 1). After that, you need to make a saturated soda solution or even turn the soda into wet porridge and apply it to the damaged area. Then the bite site needs to be smeared with ointment – have fenistil, lifeguard or trimistin in your country first aid kit. If a dense bump has formed at the site of the bite, you need to treat this place with alcohol and make a lotion of ointment (sinaflan) for at least an hour and a half.It is possible, if there is no ointment, to crush the antihistamine, slightly dilute it with water and apply the gruel.

To relieve severe itching, if there is no ointment, you can use ordinary potatoes – attach a wedge or grated raw potato in the form of a lotion. Apple cider vinegar helps – dilute it slightly and lubricate the damaged area. If there is nothing at all in the stash, spread the bite with toothpaste. In nature, if you understand plants, you can quickly prepare an infusion of a series, attach a plantain.


A small insect that brings about-oh-very big trouble is the midge. She sits in the grass, flies out in a flock and does not bite, but gnaws out a piece of skin, then sucking blood and lymph from the wound. Midge bites cause, for the most part, just a wild allergic reaction. Since the midge usually bites unprotected legs and arms, they are the ones who suffer the most, but insect bites on the lips, neck, and eyes are especially dangerous. Swelling from midge bites can be scary! A bite in the eye or eyelid is especially sensitive.It seems to a person that there is some foreign body in his eye, tears are flowing like a river. After the “attack” of insects, shortness of breath, blisters may occur, and lymph nodes often enlarge and become painful. The edema can last for a very long time, it all depends on how many bites there were. Wounds heal too badly, fester, itch and itch. A characteristic sign of a midge bite: redness and a drop of dried ichor at the site of the bite.

If the swelling is very severe, sometimes you have to resort to diuretics.Otherwise, bites require the same treatment as other insect bites.

By the way, midges really do not like the aroma of vanillin. Sometimes she runs away from him with more horror than from aerosols. Preparing a fragrant repeller is simple: dilute crystalline vanillin in water, pour the solution into a spray bottle and treat the skin surface.


In recent years, the hawk moth is increasingly common in the Moscow region. This creature, completely safe for humans, has a proboscis with which it sucks nectar out of flowers.When there is nothing to suck out with its proboscis, the hawk moth “rolls” it, and “rolls it out” when needed. The hawk moth’s wings flutter so often that a “force field” is created around the insect. There are a lot of such insects in the south; there they are called playfully “kotsalo-pezalo” and they compose all sorts of legends about them, up to horror films. However, all this is gossip and slander. The hawk maker does not bite anyone, he is indifferent to human flesh, but he loves only flowers!


Malaria mosquitoes are a rarity in “old” Moscow

Share on FB question, or your problem is slightly different from the one presented, try asking an additional question to the doctor on the same page, if it is on the topic of the main question.You can also ask a new question, and after a while our doctors will answer it. It’s free. You can also search for the information you need in similar questions on this page or through the site search page. We will be very grateful if you recommend us to your friends on social networks.

Medportal 03online.com carries out medical consultations in the mode of correspondence with doctors on the website. Here you get answers from real practitioners in their field. At the moment, on the site you can get advice in 71 areas: a COVID-19 specialist, an allergist, an anesthesiologist-resuscitator, a venereologist, a gastroenterologist, a hematologist, a geneticist, a hepatologist, a geriatrician, a gynecologist, a gynecologist-endocrinologist, a homeopathologist, a pediatrician, a pediatrician , pediatric dermatologist, pediatric infectious disease specialist, pediatric cardiologist, pediatric ENT, pediatric neurologist, pediatric nephrologist, pediatric ophthalmologist, child psychologist, pediatric pulmonologist, pediatric rheumatologist, pediatric urologist, pediatric surgeon, pediatric endocrinologist, defectologist, nutritionist, nutritionist clinical psychologist, cosmetologist, speech therapist, ENT specialist, mammologist, medical lawyer, narcologist, neuropathologist, neurosurgeon, neonatologist, nephrologist, nutritionist, oncologist, urologist oncologist, orthopedist-traumatologist, psychologist, parasitologist, proctiatrist, pediatrician , rheumatologist, radiologist, reproductologist, sexologist-andrologist, dentist, trichologist, urologist, pharmacist, physiotherapist, phytotherapist, phlebologist, phthisiatrician, surgeon, endocrinologist.

We answer 97.16% of questions .

Stay with us and be healthy!

How to recognize a tick bite on the body? | Healthy life | Health

The season of tick activity begins in mid-spring. These insects have an active period not once a year, but two. Spring begins when the air temperature reaches approximately + 10 ° C, and the second period of activity begins around the end of August and lasts until mid-October. The most common places for ticks to stick to humans are the ears, chest, armpits, neck, groin, abdomen and lower back.

What are the signs of a tick bite?

The site of the bite, depending on the age of the person, the state of health, the type of tick, the duration of its stay on the body, etc., may have different signs. A severe manifestation of a bite can occur in the elderly, children, as well as those suffering from allergies and immunodeficiency conditions. In other cases, the tick bite can be painless, many often do not notice it even after the tick has fallen off the skin.

As a rule, the bite site is manifested by rounded redness, which does not exceed one centimeter.The shade of redness can be from pinkish to dark red, depending on the manifestation of a local allergic reaction. In addition to the characteristic redness, the bite site can be recognized by a slightly swollen spot on the skin, in the center of which there is a black dot. If the parasite has not yet fallen off, then its protruding body can be seen over the spot. Burning and itching may also develop at the site of the bite, which usually disappear within a week.

If the tick’s saliva contained causative agents of dangerous diseases, for example, borreliosis, then with a bite, erythema (a growing spot) may occur, its size can reach from 10 to 60 cm.The spot can have a bright scarlet color, regular round or ellipsoidal shape. With Lyme disease, the skin may develop a rash and 10 to 12 cm dark red or blue spots that look like a bruise. Spots can appear two days after the bite, or weeks later. Spots appear more often at or near the bite site.

What are the symptoms of a tick bite?

The first symptoms after a tick bite in humans may appear two to three weeks after infection. Therefore, after walking in the forest, you need to carefully examine the skin.If a tick is found, remove it as soon as possible. The most common method of removing a tick is by grabbing its body or head with tweezers. When removing an insect in this way, gloves must be worn, since the infection can be transmitted through microcracks in the skin.

A doctor should be consulted if the following symptoms appear:

  • headache, fever or chills;
  • red skin rash;
  • muscle weakness;
  • shortness of breath;
  • edema;
  • numbness;
  • fatigue or difficulty walking;
  • lack of appetite;
  • paralysis.

See also:

90,000 bruises, skin swelling and itching. Photo and video. Is it possible to somehow check whether there will be a prefixed reaction or not


Larisa Leonidovna Gerashchenko

After saturation with blood, the leech itself disappears, the blood thinned under the influence of its saliva continues to ooze for several more hours, for some people it is about 10-15 hours, in rare cases up to a day.
It is possible to stop the blood with the help of plasters, bandages, cotton wool or even pads. Practice shows that if the wound after a bite is not immediately closed and the blood is allowed to flow freely, then after a while this process slows down and it will be easier to bandage the wound.In addition, such wounds heal faster.

By the color and viscosity of the blood, you can find out

about the volume of stagnation at the site of the bite. For example, dark bleeding indicates that a large stagnation of blood has formed in the body, and the scale of subcutaneous hemorrhage (bruise) shows that the leech bite just fell at the epicenter of this stagnation. After several sessions of hirudotherapy, the blood acquires light scarlet tones and becomes much thinner.

Treatment after a bite

Nature is wise: wounds after a leech bite do not need to be treated, since its saliva already contains all the substances necessary for disinfection.The patient is only required to take care to apply a sterile dressing to the bite site and change it periodically. As a sterile dressing, cotton wool or cosmetic cotton pads, a bandage or plaster, as well as disposable paddings are suitable. Even female gynecological pads can be used, as they absorb well and do not get wet.

Apply 4-8 cotton swabs to the wound, cut off a piece of backing diaper and fix the swabs on top, fix all this leech bite with adhesive tape or bandage.For better fixation of the bandage on the limbs, it is better to use an elastic fixing bandage.


Change the dressing as it gets wet. It is better not to tear off the bandage, but soak it in 3% hydrogen peroxide, since if it is abruptly removed, it is possible to tear off the blood clot formed on the wound and bleeding will begin with renewed vigor. Treat the wound with 3% hydrogen peroxide or 5% potassium permanganate solution, and then apply a new bandage. It is not recommended to treat the wound with alcohol, iodine or brilliant green.

If the wound is dry, apply a simple plaster as a safety net.

Itching and irritation after a bite

Sometimes after a session of hirudotherapy, itching occurs around the bite site – you should not consider this as an allergic reaction. Try not to scratch the wound – you might get an infection. Better to use a cream that soothes irritation.

Leech bite scars

heal on average in 2-3 weeks, on the face and neck in 1-2 weeks. The leech bite mark is determined within a year or more, it is well manifested when sunbathing in the sun or in a solarium.The scar dissolves gradually over time, the speed of this process depends on the condition of the body, skin and the site of the bite. The rougher the skin, the longer the scar lasts.

Adverse effects after hirudotherapy
Serious complications caused by hirudotherapy are rare. If contraindications are taken into account and the method is applied correctly, undesirable consequences, in principle, can be minimized. Such often manifested undesirable consequences as pain during treatment or short-term itching should be drawn to the patient’s attention even before starting therapy.Before each procedure, the patient must give written consent to carry out this treatment, and significant adverse consequences must be indicated.
For the precise establishment of individual undesirable consequences of hirudotherapy, there are only partial data from systematic studies. We have taken into account and collected the results of previous studies on the effectiveness of the method, published or known (to the authors) case reports, as well as reports on the work carried out contained in monographs.In addition, the Essen-Mine clinic analyzed and documented the undesirable effects of hirudotherapy, identified in more than 1000 cases, mainly in the treatment of degenerative joint diseases.
Local pain during treatment
Local pain is assessed differently by patients. As a rule, patients complain of pulling local pain that occurs immediately after the bite and lasts from 1 to 5 minutes.
With an increase in the volume of saliva entering the tissue, the anesthetic effect of the saliva ingredients begins to act.The intensity of the pain from the bite and o pain in the first stage of sucking blood with a leech is most often reported by patients as mild or negligible. But in some cases (which depends on the patient’s individual sensitivity to pain), the pain is perceived more strongly and is compared to a wasp sting. The pain perception scale begins with a range of “barely perceptible”, then moves on to minor pain (comparable, for example, with a stinging nettle), and finally, which is rare, ends with a range of pain that resembles a wasp sting.Mild, at times stronger, rhythmically pulling pain is often noted over the next 1-3 minutes.
Whether a strong irritation is objectively perceived in the form of pain or, perhaps, is not perceived at all, depends, of course, on the patient, his attention to therapy or his attitude to leeches. In addition, the size of the dental plates (jaws), the force of the bite, the intensity of blood absorption and the composition of the leech’s saliva play a role. People often feel nothing at all when – for example, underwater – they are bitten, because at this time their attention is drawn to something else.The more fearful the patient observes what is happening during therapy, the more clearly he perceives pain. These facts should be considered by the therapist when preparing and treating a patient. Sometimes the patient can be distracted. It is also useful to “acquaint” the patient with “his” leech, then in the process of manipulating the leech by the therapist, the patient will lose all his fear. Even if the therapist is wearing latex gloves for hygiene reasons, he should never pick up leeches with tweezers. The feeling of disgust often disappears if the patient can observe the “elegant” style of swimming and the beautiful pattern on the back of the leeches in its multi-colored pattern.It is also reported that the patient’s attitude towards leeches after successful treatment changes to a positive one, since the fears caused by the leeches in the patient correspond, most likely, to archaic fears than to objective conditions. It is not recommended to kill the leech in front of the patient at the end of the treatment. If leeches still need to be destroyed, they should be frozen and placed in 90 percent alcohol after a few days.
Local itching
Temporary itching at leech bites often occurs in the first days after treatment and should not be considered an allergy.In a study of the effectiveness of hirudotherapy for gonarthrosis, approximately 70% of patients treated with leeches reported the occurrence of local itching, which, on average, lasted more than 2 days. With the same frequency and to a more pronounced degree, many patients experience itching after treatment of peripheral joints, for example, with rhizarthrosis. In contrast, empirical assessment has shown that itching is felt to a lesser extent when treating large joints and areas in the spine. Before treatment, it is necessary to draw the patient’s attention to this undesirable consequence.After the first closure of the wound, scratching should be avoided in particular, as this often delays healing. Local cooling (curd compresses, wet-cold compresses, vinegar compresses) is recommended as a primary measure after treatment.
With severe itching, for example, Fenistil ointment is applied to the affected areas and antihistamines are prescribed internally. Some therapists additionally prescribe oral antihistamines to patients if it is known in advance that after hirudotherapy they usually have a strong reaction in the form of itching and redness.There are medical descriptions with patient reports of recurrence of mild itching after completion of uncomplicated treatment after a few months for a short time, for example, in external heat (in a sauna, etc.).
Hypotension and vasovagal reactions
As with other invasive methods of treatment in patients prone to fainting, vasovagal reactions, including carotid syncope, may occur at the beginning or during hirudotherapy. When reviewing 1000 descriptions of leech therapy in our clinic, only one documented case of vasovagal reaction was found.Before undergoing hirudotherapy, it is always necessary to ask the patient about whether he has experienced vasovagal reactions and fainting in the past, for example, after taking blood or during acupuncture. Drinking enough fluids before and during treatment, performing the procedure exclusively in a supine position, and a calming atmosphere can effectively counteract vasovagal reactions. Also, two outpatient cases were reported, which were accompanied by symptomatic hypotension and vasodepressive syncope after hirudotherapy.It was known that both patients suffered from arterial hypertension and were treated with triple dose antihypertensive drugs as usual. A few hours after hirudotherapy, both patients experienced mild short-term fainting.
It is important to remember that leech therapy has a known antihypertensive effect, especially if patients are taking antihypertensive drugs. Patients should drink plenty of fluids. In case of severe profuse bleeding from a wound caused by a leech, blood pressure should be monitored and, if necessary, antihypertensive drugs should be adjusted for some time.Blood loss
Hirudotherapy is always associated with relative blood loss, which, as a rule, is clinically insignificant in most cases. In the research report of Michalsen et al., The mean decrease in hemoglobin was noted as 0.7 mg / dl, and no patient experienced any clinically significant blood loss. However, isolated cases of severe profuse bleeding with a subsequent decrease in the hemoglobin content in the blood picture have been reported, especially when leeches were accidentally applied directly to superficial veins.In the documentation of the Essen clinic, cases are described when 2 patients experienced a clinically significant decrease in hemoglobin (> 3 Mn / dl.). In one of these cases (treatment of gonarthrosis with 6 leeches), a blood transfusion was subsequently required. When interviewing one of the patients, it was found that in the past she had, as she believed, prolonged bleeding. In another case, it was necessary to stop profuse bleeding, which lasted more than 36 hours, by applying a skin suture. However, the subsequent complex diagnostics of blood clotting showed the absence of any special clotting disorders.Therefore, it is very important, before starting hirudotherapy, to purposefully ask the patient about his predisposition to bleeding. But, first of all, it is necessary to check whether the patient is taking medications with an anticoagulant effect. In situations where patients often take medicines with low aspirin content (“aspirin from the heart”), as well as other new platelet aggregation inhibitors (clopidogrel, Iskover, Plavix) and high-dose fish oils (Omacor), a small number should be used in the initial stage of treatment. leeches (3 to 4).Before hirudotherapy, it is necessary, in any case, to draw up a hemogram. Do not put more than 12 leeches on one affected area in order to avoid significant blood loss.
Disorders in wound healing. Superinfection and allergies
After the completion of hirudotherapy, the edges of the three-beam wound swell, as a rule, within 12-48 hours, which is accompanied by a local feeling of tension, a feeling of overheating and redness. Bruises form around the bite site in a small radius. In rare cases, severe bruising occurs.As with superficial hematoma, the reddish-purple spots turn yellowish after a few days and eventually disappear after about 2 weeks. Densely localized inflammation with nodular bulges at the bite site occurs relatively often and is often accompanied by itching (see above), but heals quickly under conditions of cooling and rest. I
The cause of these healing disorders is not clear. Their potential cause may be improper wound treatment, premature stopping of profuse bleeding, crushing the head region of the leech with tweezers, forcible removal of the leech until it is completely saturated with blood, the content of leeches in stale water.However, such undesirable consequences are reported in individual cases and with an impeccably correct treatment. It is possible that local infections caused by the symbiont bacterium of the leech Aeromonas hydrophila may be the cause of the disorders. However, until now in none of the cases the presence of Aeromonas hydrophila in the secretions of the wound on the patient’s skin has been confirmed by microbiological methods. The most common cause of severe local inflammation is secondary contamination or irritation of the wound caused by scratching and rubbing.Therefore, mechanical protection of the wound should be provided and the patient should be informed in detail about this.
Individual cases of pronounced local inflammation are reported in clinic reports. We are talking about three cases. In one of the cases, erysipelas is described, in two others – moderately expressed lymphangitis. In all three cases, rapid healing occurred after the use of antibiotics (cephalosporins) and / or gyrase inhibitors. In order to minimize local inflammation, it is necessary to strictly take into account contraindications and instructions for their identification.The therapist should know that in doubtful cases with progressive painful redness, especially with an increase in temperature, antibiotics should be used. In rare cases, a nodular rash that persists after a leech bite should be classified as a pseudolymphoma caused by a reaction to a leech bite. Currently, there is no information on the frequency of manifestation of this undesirable effect of hirudotherapy. The author is aware of a total of three such documented and confirmed cases.Differences between secondary wound healing disorders and allergic reactions can be difficult to distinguish. There is no exact information about the frequency of allergic reactions to hirudotherapy. Often the local itching that occurs cannot be assessed as the appearance of an allergic reaction. Unambiguous allergic symptoms such as short-term urticaria and distant swelling are reported only in isolated cases. Local symptoms in the form of limited skin hyperemia caused by the reflex effect of hirudotherapy, or a skin change similar to urticaria, is most often observed in people with unstable psychovegetatics.One of the reports of the last century describes a short-term anaphylactic shock after placing b leeches on the temple area. Some therapists (as experience shows) successfully introduce antihistamines, first of all, with a local allergic reaction. But a good response to antihistamines by itself does not confirm the origin of the allergy, since taking antihistamines should be compared with taking a placebo.
In therapeutic works, the question of a possible increase in antibiotic allergy as a result of hirudotherapy is also discussed.When interpreting local phenomena arising from leeches, it should be borne in mind that the proteases contained in the saliva of leeches can stimulate the release of non-immunological mediators of various types. In addition, psychovegetative factors can enhance the corresponding reactions. In general, there are very few descriptions of cases in which the cause of an allergic reaction is sufficiently confirmed. But allergic reactions, as in any other case of the appearance of a foreign protein, are potentially possible with hirudotherapy.Contact dermatitis was also observed after applying an ointment containing leech saliva.
From time to time after treatment with leeches, short-term reactive swelling of the proximal lymph nodes or painful sensations that occur when palpating these nodes, especially when wound healing is delayed, have also been reported. The most common localization in this case is the groin area in the treatment of the knee and hip joint, as well as varicose veins. All reports report rapid, uncomplicated, tumor clearance in these lymph nodes.One of the reports of surgical indications reported follicular pseudolymphoma after hirudotherapy.
Systemic sepsis infections via Aeromonas hydrophila, a symbiont bacterium of the medicinal leech, after hirudotherapy have been repeatedly reported as part of the use of hirudotherapy in reconstructive surgery. Until now, cases of sepsis infection in other areas of use of leeches are not known. Therefore, it seems justified to conclude that the risk of contracting sepsis through Aeromonas hydrophila exists only in the case of severe underlying disease or immune suppression, as is often the case in patients undergoing surgery.Accordingly, for hirudotherapy in the field of surgical indications, it is recommended to use concomitant antibiotic therapy. For other indications, in accordance with the current level of knowledge, primary antibiotic therapy is not required, but the following rules must be strictly observed in case of contraindications for hirudotherapy.
Antibiotic therapy for hirudotherapy
Accompanying antibiotic treatment (beginning at least 6 hours before therapy) is recommended for hirudotherapy for all surgical patients.For all other indications, experience has shown that concomitant antibiotic therapy is not necessary. Patients with complex comorbidities can receive antibiotics for up to three days (gyrase inhibitors such as ciproflaxacin or ciprobeum are the best choices). Gyrase inhibitors are also indicated for the treatment of severe inflammation that is clearly outside the normal tissue response, or for prolonged manifestation of phlegmonous inflammation or lymphangitis.

Hirudotherapists claim that leeches are the best help for injuries and bruises.And as soon as possible. I checked it myself.
. Having caught on the high threshold of an incorrectly installed elevator, I fell, breaking my knee and face. Loss – two front teeth. It was so bad that the lady, whom I flooded to visit during Holy Week, called an ambulance.

While the ambulance was driving, I was already holding a package of frozen crab sticks near my face. No, crab sticks are not a hit of traditional medicine at all. It’s just that the swelling on the face appeared immediately, and it was necessary to apply the cold. But the knee was left without attention.In the hospital, the doctor did not examine me – he sent me a section for an x-ray of the head and neck. This surprised me a lot. She refused an X-ray of the head. returning to the admission department, she noticed that it had become very difficult to walk. Having lifted up my trouser leg – I was horrified by the huge swelling of the knee. I got it by walking up the stairs to the next building to the ophthalmologist and radiologist. I was not offered a cold and here is the result – a plaster splint from the gluteal fold to the heel to immobilize the joint and intimidate the operation.

There were leeches at home.Having clarified on the Internet when you can put them: immediately or after 3 days, after seeing a photo of a broken knee and a wonderful outcome after hirudotherapy, I no longer doubted that I would be treated with leeches. But I had only 8. I made a prefix at night and in the morning the tumor decreased by half. But the treatment must be continued every day for 3 days.

First attachment of leeches. There were seven of them. Immediately they grabbed the bruise, where blood poured out. The tumor began to melt right before our eyes.

The second day could have pleased me if not for the monstrous “sucks” However, the knee did not hurt so much.I bought new leeches and continued. They all sat down at the edges of the tumor. And leeches know exactly where they don’t want to gnaw.

In the morning there was a slight dizziness. After the leeches, I applied ice, because my knee was hot. At night I did not cover my leg with a blanket .. The plaster cast additionally warmed the leg and the bruise went down.

The third day gave excellent results. Only the top of the knee is still sticking out, but I think tomorrow I can handle that too.

Dear patients, services in the direction of hirudotherapy in the clinic are temporarily not provided.

I would especially like to dwell on the side effects of hirudotherapy. There is little coverage of this issue in the available sources of information, and this generates a lot of gossip, myths and fears. Side effects and complications are not the same thing. Side effects are considered acceptable and do not pose any danger to the health of patients. The opposite is true for complications. So, there are six side effects. These are: pain with a bite, post-leech bleeding, scars at the site of bites, a prefix reaction, a decrease in blood hemoglobin and a decrease in blood pressure.Let’s take a closer look at each effect.

Bite pain

Many patients say that in life they were attacked by leeches while bathing in natural reservoirs, and then they did not feel pain. But when the procedure for setting leeches takes place, this happens very rarely. Pain is almost always felt, varying in intensity depending on the individual pain threshold. It hurts only in the first minute, while the leech cuts the skin. When blood begins to pour out of the capillaries, the leech relaxes and the pain goes away.Thicker or blood-poor skin requires more leech work, so the severity of the sensations is stronger. They can be described as pain from a mosquito bite, or, at greater intensity, as pain from a needle prick, which is slowly rotated around its axis. As practice shows, women are less sensitive to painful sensations from leeches than men. Why do leeches in nature bite painlessly, and during procedures they do not try to numb their bite? The answer, obviously, lies in the peculiarities of their origin.A leech inhabiting a river or lake is forced to feed very quickly and, if possible, imperceptibly – its life depends on it. Therefore, she numbes her bite. And the leech, grown under artificial conditions, in a biofactory, was forced to eat from birth, until it was full, without being exposed to the danger of being eaten or crushed. Why would she give off painkillers? Even leeches do not like to do extra work. Therefore, all the patients of the hirudotherapist during the session feel some pain, however, very tolerable.

Scars at the bite site

After the wound stops bleeding, a dry thrombus remains at the site of the bite and a bruise around it is about 1-2 cm in diameter. The bruise disappears after a few days, the thrombus falls off, leaving a small fossa in its place, which quickly turns into a red and then a whitish scar of about 2-3 mm. In order for the bite mark to become completely invisible on the skin, at least two months must pass, usually up to a year, depending on individual characteristics.To minimize the cosmetic defect, special treatment can be started one week after the bite. Usually, the hirudotherapist warns the patient in advance about the possible consequences and, if necessary, avoids placing leeches on unwanted areas.

Post-leech bleeding

Everyone is very interested in the answer to the question: how much blood is lost during the procedure. This question is especially acute if blood comes out in large quantities. Quite large dressings are soaked through (for example, an adult diaper in the treatment of hemorrhoids), they have to be changed several times, and this cannot be ignored.When saturated, the leech drinks, according to its original size, from 3-4 to 7-10 milliliters of blood. Since the leech cuts the skin to a depth of 1 – 1.5 mm, capillary bleeding occurs, and not pure blood comes out, but a mixture of capillary blood with intercellular fluid and lymph. Additionally, in the period from 3 hours to a day (depending on individual characteristics), the human body loses blood into the external environment during post-leech bleeding in a volume of 10 to 30 milliliters. If more than one leech is used, then it will be wrong to calculate the amount of blood loss by ordinary arithmetic addition, since leeches working in a group secrete less enzymes in the total amount of enzymes than leeches working separately.As soon as the fluidity of the blood and the tone of the vessels reaches the state necessary for the leech, it ceases to secrete additional saliva and simply draws on the blood. It is easier for a group of leeches to do this job than alone. Thus, overdose does not occur and blood loss is reduced. On average, after a hirudotherapy procedure, a person loses about 50 – 70 milliliters of blood. Since this process lasts many hours, the body has enough time to activate reserves and compensate for losses, and apart from autonomic vascular reactions, visible changes are usually not observed.

Prefixed reaction

The most unpleasant side effect of leech therapy is considered to be a prefix reaction. Its cause is considered to be the activation of the immune system, accompanied by the release of inflammatory mediators from the mast cell granules into the tissues. The reaction is manifested by redness, swelling and itching of the skin at the site of leech bites. Most often, complaints continue to bother especially intensely during the first two days. Then they spontaneously go away, even if no treatment has been carried out.Depending on the individual sensitivity of the skin and the activity of the immune system, this reaction can look different: from complete unresponsiveness to pronounced skin edema (up to 5-10 cm in diameter) and itching. Usually, the prefix reaction is confused with allergies, and this is where the leech treatment ends. However, everything is not so simple and scary. All of us were once bitten by mosquitoes. Their bites cause itching, swelling and redness of the skin. After a while, the symptoms disappear. They manifest themselves in different people in different ways.Someone doesn’t react in any way. Others suffer from itching for a week, scratching the bites until they bleed. In such cases, marks remain on the skin. And if a midge bites, then such a life experience is stored in memory for years, especially if the skin of the face suffers. The swelling and unbearable itching are troublesome for several days. And these phenomena are not considered allergies. Why? Because these insects bite us all our lives, and besides small scratches, there are usually no troubles. With a true allergic reaction, each new intake of antigen in the human body causes the formation of more and more antibodies, which leads to an increase in the immune response in response to each subsequent exposure.Therefore, allergies tend to progress and the severity of its symptoms usually requires emergency hospitalization. With mosquitoes, midges and leeches, the picture is completely different.

Not all people have the prefix reaction. The elderly and overweight people are more often affected. In children, the reaction is minimal or absent. On the mucous membranes, it does not exist at all, which is an additional difference between the prefix reaction and a true allergy. Usually, after the first setting of leeches in life, at least 5 – 7 days should pass before the reaction develops.After the immune response to the aggression of the leech is formed, the body’s memory for this factor remains for life, and setting one leech even after ten years will lead to itching of the skin the next day. An interesting fact, but if, despite the edema and itching, continue the course of setting leeches, the prefix reaction eventually loses its severity and disappears altogether. And after a pause in treatment for a period of 3-4 weeks, she returns. So, every patient who is going to undergo a course of treatment with leeches should be prepared for the fact that he may have to endure some discomfort associated with severe itching and redness of the skin at the site of the bites.It is important to realize that these are not symptoms of a purulent infection and not an allergy, and the experience of the first three days of treatment will prove the correctness of this statement.

Decrease in blood hemoglobin and decrease in blood pressure

Treatment with hirudotherapy for diseases such as hemorrhoids, thrombophlebitis, hydradenitis, and some others is usually accompanied by profuse bleeding and loss of a certain amount of iron by the body, which is reflected in laboratory blood tests by a decrease in the level of hemoglobin and the number of red blood cells.Since this condition does not develop as a result of a chronic debilitating disease, but as a result of post-leech bleeding, with adequate nutrition, the body quickly recovers. As a result of the leech’s intervention in the processes of internal regulation of vascular tone, as well as the psycho-emotional reaction to an unusual procedure and the type of blood, in some patients, more often young women, blood pressure may reflexively decrease, which is manifested by darkening in the eyes, dizziness. These symptoms disappear after a few minutes on their own and do not pose a health hazard.

In the overwhelming majority of cases, negative aspects of leech treatment arise in the absence of explanatory work of doctors – hirudotherapists among their patients, which leads to their inadequate response to safe side effects of therapy. Bleeding is usually assessed as a consequence of trauma to a large vessel, and, accordingly, requiring urgent surgical intervention. The prefix reaction can be regarded as an infectious purulent process of the subcutaneous tissue or an allergy to a leech bite.

Bruise after an insect bite

How to recognize which insect has bitten you

Guys, we put our heart and soul into Bright Side. Thank you
for discovering this beauty. Thanks for the inspiration and the goosebumps.
Join us on Facebook and VKontakte

Few people in life manage to avoid insect bites. In summer, this problem is especially relevant. Sometimes it is difficult to determine who bit you. The wound may hurt, itch, and edema may appear.But don’t panic.

Bright Side created a little cheat sheet so that you know exactly which insect attacked you.


Mosquito bites appear as swollen redness the size of a small berry. Most often they are located in open areas of the body. Mosquitoes bite where the skin is thinnest and it is easier to reach the blood vessels. When biting, they inject saliva into the wound along with blood thinning anticoagulants. Because of them, tissue edema, redness and itching occur.

The organism reacts to a tick attack with a red spot at the site of the bite. The insect can stay on the victim for a long time and grow in size, feeding on its blood.

The worst thing is that ticks infect people with encephalitis, borreliosis and many other diseases. If, after removing the insect, the round spot on the skin has not gone away, but only increased in size, see a doctor as soon as possible.


Flea bites can be confused with allergies or mosquito tricks because similar red bumps appear on the skin.But, unlike mosquitoes, these insects bite quite painfully, the bites from them itch much more strongly.

Fleas usually attack the legs and only a sleeping person can bite in other places. One insect can bite a person several times, so often the distance between spots is 1–2 cm. Fleas carry many diseases dangerous to humans.


A sting may remain at the site of a bee sting, which must be carefully removed. The skin usually turns red and swelling appears.A person feels acute pain and burning, and after a while, severe itching. If there is no allergy, then the troubles that will have to be experienced end there. If there is an allergy to bee venom, then a person may begin to suffocate, and this cannot be done without medical assistance.

Symptoms after a wasp attack are similar to those that occur after a bee attack. At the site of the bite, red swelling, sharp pain and burning, and then unbearable itching appear. There may be hemorrhages on the skin.A wasp can bite a person several times. As in the case of the bee, it is important that there is no allergy to insect venom, otherwise anaphylactic shock may occur.


At the site of the hornet bite, redness and severe tissue swelling occur, blisters may appear. A person will feel a burning pain, even more acute than with a wasp bite. Since hornets are larger than their relatives, their venom is more toxic. It contains histamine and acetylcholine.

If, after a hornet bite, a person feels cold in the limbs, his ears and lips turn blue, it becomes difficult to breathe, an urgent need to consult a doctor.


Most ants are not dangerous to humans. But, for example, red fiery can be troublesome. At the sites of his bites, pustules are formed – pustules, which then turn into scars. Ant venom contains toxins and a person may experience severe allergies or anaphylactic shock.

The bite of a more harmless red forest ant looks like a mosquito bite. A pink spot appears on the skin, which will then itch.At the time of the bite, the person will feel a burning sensation, as if boiling water had hit the skin.


Horsefly looks like a large fleshy fly. But, unlike her, it can be quite painful to bite a person and be fed with his blood. At first, at the site of the bite, you can see a small red spot more than 1 mm in diameter. Then there is swelling and itching. Horseflies carry various diseases such as tularemia and anthrax, but they attack livestock more often than humans.

If you notice small red dots, similar to mosquito bites, in areas where hair grows, on the head, neck or behind the ears, you have been bitten by head or pubic lice.If there are such points on the back, abdomen, arms and legs – these are the tricks of linen lice. The bites are located at a distance of several centimeters from each other, and at the site of the bite, you can notice a trace of a puncture of the skin.

Lice are carriers of dangerous diseases such as trench fever and typhus.

At first glance, bug bites look like flea, mosquito or allergy marks. On the skin, you can notice swelling, redness, and severe itching is felt. But it is possible to distinguish the “work” of bedbugs by the characteristic chains-paths on the skin.The bites are close to each other. And the bugs bite more painfully than mosquitoes. Multiple paths on the body can be found in the morning – bugs go hunting at night.

Is there a bruise from an insect bite, and what to do about it?

Today I accidentally found a bruise on my arm. It’s not clear where it came from, there was nothing there, it didn’t hit hard. Yesterday this place itched, but I did not attach any importance to it, it felt like a pimple or dried blood. But it was dark and I didn’t look at it.A bruise 3 cm in diameter, absolutely no pain. In the afternoon it was burgundy, now brown, in the center under the skin something is felt. I panicked, what if it was some kind of insect. I don’t live in Africa, but it’s scary. All sorts of worst-case scenarios are running through my head. Should I go to the doctor or not?

Experts Woman.ru

Get expert opinion on your topic

Sidorenko Victoria Olegovna

Psychologist. Specialist from the site b17.ru

Sheludyakov Sergey

Psychologist, Clinical Psychologist.Specialist from the site b17.ru

Spiridonova Nadezhda Viktorovna

Psychologist. Specialist from the site b17.ru

Rusanova Natalia

Psychologist, Family psychologist. Specialist from the site b17.ru

Sokurenko Anna

Psychologist, Consultant. Specialist from the site b17.ru

Dyachenko Elena Vladimirovna

Psychologist, Gestalt therapist in teaching. Specialist from the site b17.ru

Antakova Lyubov Nikolaevna

Psychologist, Consultant.Specialist from the site b17.ru

Juran Marina Vladimirovna

Psychologist, Family child psychologist. Specialist from the site b17.ru

Kazarin Leonid Ananievich

Psychologist. Specialist from the site b17.ru

Permyakova Elena Vasilievna

Psychologist. Specialist from the site b17.ru

The bruise may be from an insect bite, it may be an allergic reaction. My mom has it. She was bitten in her stomach by a wasp in her youth and then she almost died.As a result, she developed a severe allergy. Mosquito bites pass without a trace. but when midges bite, this place swells and a bruise forms. It is especially beautiful when she is bitten in the eye area)) immediately under the eye)) and funny and sad at the same time))

It looks like a tick bite. I would go to the doctor, this is very serious.

Yeah, just combed it to the point of a bruise.

Hmm. Really looks like a tick. I remember that a wasp bit me – in addition to edema, there was also a bruise.

Hmm. Really looks like a tick. I remember that a wasp bit me – in addition to edema, there was also a bruise.

Yeah, just combed it to the point of a bruise.

Related Topics

Yeah, just combed it to the point of a bruise.


Moderator, I draw your attention that the text contains:

The complaint was sent to the moderator

The page will close automatically
after 5 seconds

Forum: health

New today

Popular today

User of the site Woman.ru understands and accepts that he is fully responsible for all materials, partially or completely published by him using the Woman.ru service.
The user of the Woman.ru website guarantees that the posting of the materials submitted by him does not violate the rights of third parties (including, but not limited to copyrights), does not damage their honor and dignity.
A user of the Woman.ru site, by sending materials, is thereby interested in their publication on the site and agrees to their further use by the editorial staff of the Woman site.ru.

The use and reprint of printed materials from the woman.ru site is possible only with an active link to the resource.
The use of photographic materials is permitted only with the written consent of the site administration.

Placement of intellectual property objects (photos, videos, literary works, trademarks, etc.)
on the woman.ru website is allowed only to persons who have all the necessary rights for such placement.

Copyright (c) 2016-2020 Hirst Shkulev Publishing LLC

Network publication “WOMAN.RU “(Woman.RU)

Certificate of registration of mass media EL No. FS77-65950, issued by the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Communications,
Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) on June 10, 2016. 16+

Founder: Limited Liability Company “Hirst Shkulev Publishing”

Insect bites

Along with the heat, mosquitoes, midges, horseflies appear on the street. Parents with small children should be extremely careful while walking in nature.In children, insect bites can fester, because the child does not control himself, and can comb the wound with dirty fingers. Don’t forget about allergies!

So, who can bite us: what are the security measures and what to do if they are “snagged” after all.

How to recognize who bit you?


Where and when. Favorite places – near fast rivers, where their larvae develop. They usually bite on hot sunny days.

Bite. The very moment of the bite we often do not feel – the midge simultaneously introduces saliva – “freezing”.

How is it manifested? After a few minutes, there is a burning sensation, severe itching and large red edema (sometimes the size of a palm).

Why is it dangerous? The saliva of midges is poisonous. The swelling subsides after a few days, but the intolerable itching can bother for several weeks. Children usually comb the bite into the bloodstream until the ulcers appear. Multiple bites sometimes lead to fever and signs of general poisoning.Those who are allergic to insect bites need to be especially careful.

What to do? Wipe the skin with ammonia, then apply ice. You can take an antihistamine.


Where and when? There are especially many mosquitoes near stagnant water bodies. They are atrocities around the clock from late May to September, especially in the dark and before the rain.

Bite. You may not feel it.

How is it manifested? White itchy blister with redness around.

Why is it dangerous? In general, a mosquito is not a harmless creature. There are mosquitoes, carriers of malaria and some viral infections. Plus, there is an allergy to bites.

What to do? Itching relieves a lotion from a solution of soda (see Help after an insect bite).

Psilo-balm gel can be applied. It can help reduce redness, itching and soreness and has a cooling effect.

Psilo-balm does not contain corticosteroids, it is applied to the affected skin area for children from 2 years of age and for adults 3-4 times a day.

Wasp or bee

Where and when. All summer during daylight hours in glades, meadows, in the garden.

Bite . Sharp pain and burning, a sting (black) is visible in the wound. Insect venom causes severe swelling in the area of ​​the bite. The sore spot turns red and hot.

Why is it dangerous? An allergic reaction, especially a bite to the head, can be life threatening! If a small child has been bitten, in any case it is necessary to show him to the doctor, to call an ambulance.

What to do? Remove the sting with tweezers, rinse the wound with alcohol and anoint with iodine. Take an antihistamine, apply ice in a towel to the bite. The pain will be removed with a cotton swab with a solution of novocaine.

What attracts them? Everything sweet, bouquets of flowers, perfume with a floral scent, clothes of “neon” colors.

Protection against insect bites. Do not leave sweets, fruits on the table, wipe your mouth after eating with a damp cloth, do not walk barefoot in clover meadows.

Bite. Insensitive, the mite anesthetizes the wound with saliva and sticks to the skin.

How is it manifested? Redness appears around the bite, the wound does not itch.

Why is it dangerous? Ticks carry deadly diseases such as borreliosis or Lyme disease and encephalitis.

What to do? It is best to immediately go to the nearest emergency room – they will remove the tick and tell you the procedure. If this is not possible, you can try to gently remove the tick with tweezers (so that the head does not remain in the skin).Treat the wound with alcohol. And – all the same, run to the doctor! Together with the tick (in a jar), it will also need to be submitted for analysis to doctors. If your area is endemic for encephalitis (that is, there were cases of detection of this disease in ticks), then an injection of immunoglobulin is needed. Prevention of infection with borreliosis – taking antibiotics, strictly according to the doctor’s prescription.

Safety measures.
Close your body tightly: a stand-up collar, cuffs on trousers and sleeves will protect your body, a cap or scarf will protect your head.Examine your skin after every foray into the forest. Treat clothes (not skin!) With special tick repellents – again, pay attention to age restrictions.


Where and when. From spring to autumn in forests and parks.

Bite . The ant does not bite, but shoots out a trickle of poisonous formic acid. The victim feels a burning pain, the affected area turns red, a tiny blister may appear – a trace of a burn. Possible dermatitis, allergic reactions.

Why is it dangerous? Nothing – if one ant has “snagged” you. If there is a lot, it is better to see a doctor.

What to do? Neutralize the acid with a solution of soda, if it is not at hand – just moisten it with saliva. Ice can be applied at home.

Protection against insect bites. Keep away from anthills with children, ant repellents do not work.

Bruise after an insect bite

All about head lice and head lice

Pediculosis is a parasitic disease of hair and skin caused by lice.The latter are insects, whose mouth organs are designed to pierce the skin, suck blood.

From this article you will learn:

For the treatment of papillomas, our readers successfully use Papilight. Seeing such popularity of this tool, we decided to offer it to your attention.
More details here …

  • what pubic, linen and head lice look like;
  • what is head lice;
  • what is its danger;
  • how to protect yourself from disease.

Head louse

The head louse is usually localized in the occipital, temporal regions, beard, mustache in men. The legs of the insects are adapted for attaching precisely to such round hair.

Arthropods have an oblong shape. The length of the individual is 1–3 mm for the male, 4 mm for the female. Insects are gray in color, after ingestion of blood, they turn red or purple. The oral apparatus of the lice is formed by stabbing needles enclosed in the proboscis eversible from the oral cavity.The latter is pressed tightly against the skin during an insect bite. The saliva of parasites contains an enzyme that prevents blood clotting.

Lice feed twice a day, the female sucks in about 0.7 ml of blood per intake, and the male – a third of this volume. Without food, the death of arthropods occurs after 2 days.

The female lays 5 eggs per day, from which lice of subsequent generations appear. After 6-10 days, head lice reach sexual maturity.

The lice have a lifespan of 28 to 32 days.

The optimum breeding temperature for head lice is 28 ° C. When the temperature drops to 22 ° C or rises to 35 ° C, the vital processes of insects slow down sharply. At temperatures over 44 ° C, the head louse dies.

Linen lice

Clothes, bed lice – other names for underwear. Parasites live in seams, folds of linen, clothes. They are found on sleeves, collars, belts.

Linen lice temporarily crawl onto the human body for nutrition, usually on the neck, upper back, armpits, groin-femoral folds, lower back.Arthropods consume blood 2-3 times a day. An adult individual consumes 0.001–0.003 ml of blood at the same time.

The length of adults is 3-5 mm, females are larger than males. The body louse has a more elongated body than the head louse. During the life cycle, the female lays up to 400 eggs.

Females live 6–8 weeks, males about 30 days. Insects die at temperatures above 60 ° C and below 13 ° C.

Pubic lice

These insects are localized in the area of ​​the pubis, scrotum, perineum, perianal fold.The structural features of the legs of the parasites ensure their reliable attachment to precisely such hair with a triangular section. These lice in humans are occasionally found in the armpits, on the trunk, eyelashes, eyebrows.

The length of males is 1 mm, the size of individuals of females is about 1.5 mm. Pubic lice are dark in color, the parasite is visually similar to a crab, the abdomen is wide, shortened.

Pubic lice feed frequently, with short breaks, the volume of one blood intake is 0.1 ml.If insects remain without food for a day, they die. Parasites live from 21 to 28 days. The female lays from 1 to 3 eggs per day, during her whole life – about 30 larvae.

Pubic lice is also called phthiriasis.

What are nits

Cocoons are formed around the eggs laid by female insects. Head and pubic lice lay their eggs on the hair, to which they attach with a special secret. A cocoon with an egg inside is called a nit.

The body louse lays eggs at random, they fall on clothes, linen, where they are fastened in the seams, folds.

White nits, spindle-like in shape, 0.4–2 mm in size. They are not passed on from one person to another.

Pubic and head lice eggs ripen on 7-10 days. Bed lice larvae mature longer due to frequent cooling of linen and clothes.

When the nits are opened, the cap falls off, and air enters through it. The latter fills the cocoon at its base, gradually displacing the larva, which is called a nymph. She molts three times, after which an adult should appear.

Lice: How Transmitted to Another Person

Many are interested in what causes lice. The main route of transmission of parasites is contact. A predisposing factor for the onset of the disease is unfavorable sanitary and hygienic conditions.

Pediculosis in children and adults occurs through close contact with infected people, objects they use. This happens:

  • when using other people’s hats, combs, clothes, underwear, bed linen;
  • in public transport;
  • in saunas, baths, swimming pools;
  • in children’s groups;
  • in mass recreation areas (in camps, in resorts).

Pubic lice is considered a sexually transmitted disease. The insect starts after sexual intercourse, contact with the skin, hair of the infected. Pubic lice in a third of cases is combined with some kind of venereal disease.

Signs of head lice

Many are interested in what are the symptoms of lice and nits and the incubation period in head lice. When a head, pubic or body louse bites through the skin, their saliva gets into the wound, after a while, excrement, which leads to itching.This is the main sign that a child or adult has parasites. It is most pronounced in the back of the head, temples, behind the ears.

If a child has lice, he becomes more capricious, sleeps restlessly. Traces of scratching, peeling form on the skin, rounded bluish-blue spots may appear, formed due to the interaction of the parasite’s saliva with blood. The spots do not disappear when pressed, their size is 5–15 mm.

On close examination, lice in the hair can be seen, nits are noticeable.If the latter are empty, they are gray in color; when the larva is contained, they are whitish or yellowish.

With lice in the places of scratching, a secondary infection joins, pyoderma may appear – a purulent skin lesion resulting from the penetration of bacteria into it. If the infection penetrates deeper tissues, the following complications will occur:

  • furuncle – acute inflammation of the hair follicle, sebaceous gland, surrounding tissues of a purulent-necrotic nature;
  • carbuncle – acute inflammation of the skin, fatty tissue around a group of sebaceous glands, hair follicles of a purulent-necrotic nature;
  • abscess – tissue inflammation with the formation of a cavity filled with pus.

The incubation period is the time from the moment of infection until the onset of the initial symptoms of the disease. The first insect bites occur after parasites get on the hair, body. When head or bed lice are present in a single quantity, their presence is weak. Symptoms become pronounced after 3-4 weeks, when young individuals appear in large numbers as a result of reproduction.

Why lice are dangerous

The body louse is more dangerous than the head louse.This morphotype of the insect serves as a carrier of typhus, a group of infectious diseases caused by rickettsia bacteria, characterized by a specific rash, damage to the cardiovascular, nervous systems, and fever.

Linen lice are carriers of the bacteria Bartonella quintana. This microorganism causes a disease called Volyn fever, characterized by repeated bouts of fever with chills, pain in bones, muscles, and a rash on the body.

Head lice carry relapsing fever pathogens – spirochetes from the genus Borrelia. The body louse can also carry these microorganisms. The disease manifests itself by alternating fever attacks with periods of normal body temperature, accompanied by rashes, damage to the nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular systems, enlargement of the spleen, liver.

Prevention of head lice

To prevent the onset of the disease, you must follow the rules of personal hygiene, use only your own combs, hats, and linen.To avoid pubic lice, it is necessary to abandon casual sexual intercourse.

During play, children must be careful not to touch their heads with each other. It is necessary to periodically carefully examine the scalp of the child for the presence of arthropods.

When characteristic symptoms of the disease appear, treatment should be started in order to avoid extensive skin damage, complications, and infection of other people. Pediculosis prevention measures help prevent the occurrence of this condition.

Quieter than grass: insect bites

It is not only rains or heat that can darken the long-awaited summer. The annoying buzz of insects is quickly added to the rustle of foliage and the singing of birds. Departure to the dacha, a picnic outside the city, a walk in the woods or a hiking trip – stinging and biting companions accompany you everywhere. It is not easy to escape from them in the city.

Text: Jana Walter 16 April 2014

Contents of the article:

Why are insect bites dangerous?

Poisonous insects do not inhabit most of the territory of Russia.However, the bite of almost any insect can cause an allergic reaction, including a very severe one: suffocation, anaphylactic shock. The most serious health consequences – kidney failure, seizures and even paralysis – are usually caused by bee, wasp or hornet stings, especially multiple stings. In addition, insects can carry a variety of diseases, many of which are life-threatening.

When bitten, you can contract, for example, encephalitis or borreliosis (vectors – ticks), malaria (vectors – mosquitoes), typhus and rickettsiosis (carried by lice)

In most cases, insect bites are still not so much dangerous as unpleasant: they can cause swelling, swelling, itching, pain, burning.When scratching, the affected area is often infected.

Signs of a bite

Bites of almost all insects cause similar symptoms, however, by external signs you can still find out which insect stung you, and also distinguish a bite from an allergic reaction to food or the result of touching a plant that causes burns.

So, with bites of bees, hornets or wasps, more noticeable and painful swelling is formed than with mosquito bites. In this case, a sting may remain in the center of the edema.A midge usually leaves a bruise, not a swelling, but gadflies and gadflies – large noticeable swelling, accompanied by almost unbearable itching.

The place of the tick’s suction is usually no different from the bites of other insects. However, if the tick was a carrier of Lyme disease (borreliosis), after 5-7 days the bite takes on a characteristic appearance, which makes it possible to conclude that it is infected. At the site of the tick’s suction, a large round or oval red spot is formed, gradually increasing and taking the form of a wide ring with a painful swelling in the center.This is erythema annular, indicating the initial stage of tick-borne borreliosis.

Bites of “domestic” insects (bugs, fleas) are noticeably different from mosquitoes or bees. Flea bites appear as numerous red dots, red itchy bumps appear at the sites of bedbug bites, often with a bubble in the center. In this case, the tubercles are located in the form of a kind of “path”.

Treatment of insect bites

Signs of a severe allergic reaction require immediate medical attention:

  • severe edema at the site of the bite
  • edema that occurs far from the site of the bite – on the joints of the arms and legs, face, neck
  • appearance of rash
  • difficulty breathing
  • dizziness, heart palpitations, low blood pressure

Most often, allergies are noted for stings of bees, hornets, wasps.Their poison is capable of causing the most severe reactions, including sudden death.

Sometimes insects (usually bees or wasps) enter the mouth unnoticed along with fruits and berries and sting on the tongue or lip. Such bites are very painful, cause severe swelling and even suffocation. In this case, you cannot do without a doctor’s examination, as with an insect bite in the eye – damage to the eyelid or eyeball can lead to temporary loss of vision.

If a child has suffered from a bee, wasp or hornet sting, he must be taken to the hospital – the reaction of the child’s body may not come immediately, but after a while and be very unpredictable

Be sure to see a doctor if you are bitten by a tick.In this case, it is necessary to try to carefully remove the sucked insect and take it to the laboratory for analysis.

If you have reason to believe that nothing threatens your health, you can relieve the unpleasant consequences of bites – itching, pain, swelling and redness – with the help of a home first-aid kit.

First of all, remove the sting of the insect if it remains in the wound. Apply ice or a cold compress to relieve inflammation. You can make a lotion with a solution of baking soda.