How to Treat Bug Bites
Symptoms: A red welt on the skin, plus a burning sensation; less commonly, itching, light-headedness, and hives.
How to treat: If you see a stinger, gently remove it by scraping the surface of the skin with the edge of a credit card (this will lift out the stinger). Then clean the skin with soap and water. To control pain, use ice—10 minutes on and 10 minutes off, for up to an hour—and/or take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID), such as Advil. If you develop hives, take an antihistamine. For cases that involve severe pain, a doctor may inject the sting with an anesthetic to numb the area temporarily, says Belsito.
Good to know: A small percentage of the population may experience a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Signs of anaphylaxis include swelling of the throat or tongue, difficulty breathing, and nausea. If you develop these symptoms, telephone 911.