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Health Tip: Caring for Bug Bites

Taking the sting out of the sting

(HealthDay News) -- In rare cases, an insect bite can cause a severe allergic reaction. But even if harmless, insect bites can be quite uncomfortable.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers this advice about soothing bug bites:

  • In cases where the insect's stinger is still in the skin, scrape a flat, firm object against the area to extract it. Don't use tweezers, as more venom could be released.
  • Clean all bite and sting sites thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Apply an ice pack to the area to soothe a sting. Apply for 10 minutes, remove, and repeat.
  • Take an antihistamine, and apply a topical cream to soothe itching.
  • Watch out for signs of an infection, such as increasing redness, pain or swelling that develops well after the initial sting.
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