Insects can be a nuisance during a summer holiday, but they can also pose a risk by spreading infection and causing allergic reactions through stings and bites. …read moreSee less
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What happens when you get an insect bite?
When you have an insect bite or sting they are usually harmless and will heal in a couple of hours up to a couple of days.
Normally, insect bites and stings are nothing more than an inconvenience, but in places where there is a risk of insect-borne disease, bites and stings could transfer dangerous diseases such as malaria and zika virus.
What type of insect repellent do you need in the UK?
Whether you’re off on a UK staycation or you just happen to live in an area with a lot of bugs, using an insect repellent is a great way to prevent bites and stings.
DEET is a highly effective insect repellent, but it can cause skin irritation and isn’t necessarily needed in the UK.
IR3535, a different type of insect repellent, is a synthetic amino acid that affects an insect’s sense of smell. The ingredient is mostly odourless to us humans, but flying bugs can’t stand the smell and they’ll stay far away from you.
How do you treat an insect bite or sting?
Start by removing the sting if it’s still in the skin, then wash the area with soap and water.
Apply a cold compress or an ice pack to any swelling for at least 10 minutes and, if possible, raise the affected area to reduce swelling.
Avoid scratching the area or bursting any blisters to reduce the risk of infection and apply an insect bite cream to relieve itching.
What is the best cream for insect bites and stings?
Insect bite creams typically contain a type of medicine called an antihistamine, which works by blocking a substance called histamine that is produced during an allergic reaction.
You can also try hydrocortisone cream, a topical treatment that is classed as a corticosteroid and works to relieve pain and swelling.
If your bite is infected, you will need to see a doctor so they can prescribe a suitable antibiotic to treat the infection.