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If you have a minor
reaction to an insect bite,
here’s how to treat the pain and itching
while preventing infection:

Remove the stinger

  • If you’ve been stung by a bee, wasp or ant, move to a safe area to avoid more stings and try to stay calm, as movement causes the insect venom to spread more quickly.

  • If you’ve been stung on the arms or legs, keep your limbs lowered, which helps keep the venom from spreading.

  • Use a fingernail, dull knife or the edge of a credit card to push against the skin and remove the stinger from the bite.

Soothe the pain

  • Hold a cloth-wrapped cold pack or cold compress over the bite for 15 to 20 minutes to reduce swelling and irritation.

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with discomfort, while antihistamines and hydrocortisone cream or ointment can help with itching and swelling. Check with your doctor before giving an antihistamine to a child.

Call the doctor

  • Facial or throat swelling, difficulty breathing, dizzyness, confusion, wheezing, hives, pale or blue skin, or abdominal pain means you are having a severe allergic reaction and need to seek immediate medical help.

  • If there are multiple bites or the swelling lasts longer than a couple of days or extends much beyond the initial bite.



Sources: and This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a doctor with any questions regarding a medical condition.


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