How to Know You’re Allergic to Insect Bites

types of reactions

Did you know that up to 100 people die every year from an allergic reaction to an insect bite or sting? And the CDC thinks that number doesn’t even account for bite- and sting-related deaths mistakenly diagnosed as a heart attack or stroke. Ouch! 

With summer right around the corner, you may be worried about keeping yourself or your children safe from allergic reactions to insect bites and stings.

That’s why we’re helping you find out whether your reaction to insect bites constitutes an allergic one.

Want to know the types of reactions you may experience from bites and stings? Keep reading and find out.

The Types of Reactions to Insect Bites and Stings

Over 5% of the population in the United States has some kind of allergy to insect bites or stings. While the majority of people recover, sting-related allergic reactions can become life threating and lead to death.

The most common stings that cause allergic reactions are caused by:

  • Bees
  • Wasps
  • Fire ants
  • Hornets
  • Yellowjackets

While a small reaction to the sting or bite is normal, a mild to severe reaction may indicate an allergy. Here are the three different types of reactions and how to recognize the symptoms of each one.

A Normal Reaction

Some reaction to an insect bite or sting is completely normal. 

Pain, swelling, and redness are common. Itchiness during the healing phase may also occur. But as long as these symptoms remain mild, you are more than likely not having an allergic reaction.

A Mild to Moderate Reaction

If the entire area around the bite or sting swells up, you are having a large local reaction. 

You may also experience pain, redness, heat, and itching 48 hours after the sting. While these symptoms can be alarming, you are only experiencing a mild to moderate allergic reaction. Your symptoms will gradually disappear over the next one to two weeks.

A Severe Reaction

Severe allergic reactions are associated with the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the face, throat, or tongue
  • Wheezing
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid pulse

If you or your family are experiencing any of the above symptoms after being bitten or stung by an insect, you need emergency treatment immediately. We recommend going to the emergency room over urgent care so that you can receive immediate attention for your medical emergency.

What to Do if You have an Allergic Reaction to a Bug Bite

For normal to moderate types of reactions, remove any stinger left behind and wash the area with soap and water. Be sure not to squeeze the bite and use an antihistamine to soothe any itching or swelling.

Severe reactions should be treated by a medical expert. In emergency situations, you can inject yourself or your child with epinephrine. This will ease the reaction while you wait for emergency care to arrive.

Do you need attention for a mild to moderate allergic reaction in Gonzales, Louisiana? Walk-ins are welcome between the hours of 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Or give us a call to set up an appointment.