After a blissful weekend at the cabin, so many of us return home to our daily grind and suffer from constant itching and scratching from bug bites. What can you do to prevent these bites and how do you know when to worry?
Most bug bites are pesky and bothersome, but are not worrisome from a medical standpoint and can easily be treated at home with hydrocortisone cream or antihistamine to help alleviate the itching. If a bite is persistent, accompanied by a rash or is so itchy or painful that you can’t control it at home – it’s time to come see us in the clinic.
If you ever experience trouble breathing, swelling in your face or around your mouth, chest pain, feeling dizzy or your heart racing after being bitten or stung — you must go to an emergency department immediately. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease are both infections that come from mosquito or tick bites and must be treated immediately.
To help prevent bug bites, we recommend using insect repellent with Picaridin or Deet as their active ingredients, or if you are going to be in a heavily wooded area with risk for ticks it is a good idea to treat your clothing with Permethrin before your trip. Wearing long sleeves and long pants can help reduce your risk of having a bug bite and also avoiding fragrant personal products like shampoos, perfumes and body lotions can be helpful.
If you have been bitten by a bug and have itchy spots or a rash, call our offices today to be seen by one of our medical providers. Often times, a simple prescription can be given to help reduce your itching.
Brooke Moss, PA-C, MPH is a board-certified dermatology Physician Assistant. She is accepting new patients in our Edina location.