When an Insect Bite or Sting Requires Urgent Medical Attention

Most bug bites and stings are harmless, aside from a bit of itchiness. You can almost always treat them at home with a topical ointment like hydrocortisone cream. However, the occasional bite or sting may require urgent medical attention. 

But how can you tell? Well, for starters, you should know that most bug bite symptoms are mild, and they go away on their own in as little as one day. If you develop unusual or persistent symptoms, you may need to visit a doctor. 

From Dr. Yadwinder Kang at 1st Choice Urgent Care, here are seven warning signs to look out for when you get an insect bite or sting. 

1. Your lips, tongue, or eyes swell.

Watch for swelling in your face even if you don’t get bit or stung on your face. Swelling can be a sign of an allergic reaction to the venom of the bug that bit or stung you.

2. You have difficulty breathing.

Do you feel as if your throat is closing up or your chest is tightening? Difficulty breathing after a bug bite or sting definitely warrants a trip to the doctor. This could be another sign of an allergic reaction or a sign that the insect carried a disease. 

3. You get really dizzy or have a bad headache. 

If you develop dizziness or headaches soon after getting bitten or stung, you should see a doctor, especially if your symptoms persist for longer than 30 minutes to an hour. Also report any vision symptoms, such as black spots or shimmering lights in your field of vision.

4. You’re vomiting.

Some insects, such as ticks, carry diseases with flu-like symptoms. If you start vomiting after getting bitten by a bug, see a doctor as soon as possible. 

5. Your skin breaks out in a rash.

A rash, especially hives, can also be a sign of an allergic reaction. If your skin becomes red, blotchy, swollen, or bumpy, you should seek medical care to either rule out an allergy or get it treated. A rash may also indicate cellulitis, a bacterial infection in the skin that can result from bug bites. 

6. You run a fever.

Any time you run a fever, you should take measures to treat it: Cool off with a wet rag, drink plenty of water, and rest. If you develop a persistent or unusually high (above 102 degrees Fahrenheit) fever after sustaining a but bite or sting, seek medical attention right away. 

7. You have muscle pain.

If your muscles start cramping or feel unexplainably weak after an insect bite or sting, it may be a sign that the venom of the insect is poisonous. Spider bites specifically are known to cause muscle spasms

If you experience any of the above symptoms after an insect stings or bites you, you should seek medical attention right away. 1st Choice Urgent Care in Bakersfield specializes in quick and effective care for sudden injuries and reactions like the above. 

Call 1st Choice Urgent Care, request an appointment online, or simply walk into our clinic on Panama Lane to get your insect bite or sting treated with speed and compassion. 

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