Beat bug bites


Allison Markowitz


We can all agree that insect bites are aggravating. The constant itch, splotchy bumps, potential for allergic reactions and oh, did we mention the constant itch? Following some simple steps can keep you and your fragile skin as comfortable as possible, though.

According to, immediately icing the bite and washing it to remove dirty particles the many-legged culprit could have left behind is your best bet at eliminating the itch and potential for infection later. And don’t scratch. Scratching the itch, no matter how enormously satisfying, only further breaks the skin down and can lead to an infection or spread the discomfort. Instead, apply an antihistamine such as Calamine lotion or Benadryl to relieve the itch. Over-the-counter pain medications can help reduce the pain and swelling that may result from our stinging friends like bees and wasps.

To prevent bites in the future, try to wear long sleeves and pants during peak mosquito hours (dimly lit times such as dawn and dusk) or when near standing water, and tuck in your shirt. The less access to skin, the better.

How can you tell if an annoying bug bite or sting is actually anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal allergic reaction? Doctors say symptoms include all-over itchiness, noticeable wheezing, shortness of breath and trouble breathing, talking or swallowing. If these symptoms occur, take an oral antihistamine and seek medical attention immediately.



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