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Insect Bytes

When insects bite you, their saliva comes into contact with your skin and irritates your skin. Some insects may secrete venom or other substances that cause irritation. The irritation of the skin causes swelling around the bite, redness, itching and occasionally burning. Depending on the insect, the bite size and your sensitivity to the substances released by the insect, the above mentioned symptoms can range from very mild to distressing and uncomfortable.

Some people may experience an allergic response to the bite. This means that their body may over-react, causing excessive swelling and a skin reaction such as a rash or hives. A small percentage of people may have a severe enough allergic reaction that they develop symptoms such as breathlessness, palpitations, a tight chest, a sensation that your throat is closing, dizziness. In this case, it is advisable to consult your healthcare practitioner.

As with all wounds where the skin is exposed, it is important to prevent infections by cleaning the wound and monitoring its healing. Insects that commonly bite people are mosquitoes, fleas, lice, bed bugs and ants. Some insects can spread disease through their bites. Examples include malaria from mosquitoes and sleeping sickness from tsetse flies. Please consult your healthcare practitioner if your insect bites have not healed within two days.

 

Symptoms

Irritation of the skin causes swelling around the bite, redness, itching and occasionally burning.

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