Use These Tips from ChemistDirect to Take the Sting out of Insect Bites

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ChemistDirect’s Pharmacist Omar El-Gohary gives tips & advice on how to treat insect bites with medicated or natural remedies

Insect Bite Relief

Treat Insect Bites Effectively Before They Become Infected

Tea Tree Oil is often touted as nature’s wonder drug and research has showed that it has both antimicrobial and healing properties.

An insect bite often causes a small lump to develop, which is usually very itchy. A small hole or the sting itself may also be visible, but the itching and swelling usually clears up within several hours. 1

Common insect bites include midges, mosquitoes, gnats, fleas, horseflies and ticks, which can cause different degrees of pain, irritation and swelling.

Omar El-Gohary, Superintendent Pharmacist at ChemistDirect says: “Minor bites can be treated by washing the affected area with soap and water, and placing a cold compress to reduce swelling.”

“Don’t scratch the area, otherwise it may become infected, and need further treatment with antibiotics.”

Antihistamine tablets such as Piriton or Clarityn can help as well as a cream such as Anthisan or Eurax to offer relief to mild to moderate bites.

A steroid cream such as Hydrocortisone 1% can also be used, although this should be reserved for moderate to severe bites, usually after recommendation from a pharmacist.

El-Gohary adds: “This product is not suitable for use on the face, and should not be used for longer than a week, as long-term use may be damaging to the skin. It should also not be used on children under the age of ten.”

As an alternative, a hydrocortisone-containing version of Eurax – Eurax HC - is available. But, for customers looking for a natural treatment, they could also consider treating bites with tea tree oil.

“Tea Tree Oil is often touted as nature’s wonder drug and research has showed that it has both antimicrobial and healing properties. I would recommend this to be applied for a couple of days for minor bites,” adds El-Gohary.

However despite treatment, insect bites can sometimes become infected. Symptoms can include pus in or around the bite, swollen glands, and increasing redness, swelling and pain in and around the bite. Anyone concerned that a bite may have become infected, should visit their GP.

References

1.    http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Bites-insect/Pages/Symptoms.aspx

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Samantha Smith
Chemist Direct
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