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Infected insect bites and stings

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What is are infected insect bites and stings?

Infected insect bites and stings happen when germs get into the skin after an insect bites or stings you.

Insect bites or stings typically aren't severe and tend to improve within a short span of time. They often result in itching and discomfort, but you can find relief using antihistamine tablets or creams available without a prescription.

However, in some instances, they can trigger a severe allergic response or lead to infection.

What are the symptoms of an infected insect bite or sting?

Symptoms can include:

  • Pain or sensitivity in the affected region
  • Increased warmth in the surrounding skin
  • Discharge from the bite or sting spot
  • Expansion of redness or swelling in the skin

How can you relieve symptoms?

You can alleviate your symptoms by:

  • Utilising an antihistamine to alleviate allergic reactions
  • Using non-prescription pain relievers like paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • Applying hydrocortisone cream, if deemed suitable

When to seek help?

If your symptoms show no improvement after 48 hours or worsen, if your skin feels warm to the touch, and if the redness or swelling is spreading, you might find relief with a prescription of antibiotics.

How can a Lincolnshire Co-op Pharmacy help?

Our pharmacists are available to assist individuals aged one and older.

They will ask about your medical history and additional symptoms to rule out other conditions or complications that may require urgent referral to your GP or other healthcare providers.

They may suggest over-the-counter products, as mentioned above. If your symptoms indicate further treatment is necessary, our pharmacists can provide you with a course of antibiotics, if deemed suitable.

What if my child is under one year old?

If your child is younger than one year old, we are unable to provide this service for them. However, our pharmacists or other members of the pharmacy team can offer self-care advice or refer your child to your GP as necessary.

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