If you’ve been bitten or stung, move to a place away from further exposure to the bugs to prevent getting more bites or stings.
Here are some basic things you can do to ease the pain, itching, burning, or swelling from a bug bite or sting:
- If you’ve been stung, remove the stinger if it is still in your skin.
- Apply an ice pack or cold compress to the site of the sting. Alternate on and off to prevent tissue damage and don’t place the ice directly on the skin. Usually 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
- If the person with the bite or sting has any involuntary muscle movements, call 911 immediately. Black widow spider bites can cause muscle spasms.
- For pain relief, try topical treatments like sting swabs, hydrocortisone lotion, or lidocaine preparations. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are good for pain. You may want to use an antihistamine such as Benadryl if you have swelling.
Keep an eye out for signs of illness over the first few days following a bug bite. Fever, jaundice (skin or eyes turning yellow), sweating, or pus oozing from the site of the bite all require a call to the doctor.