Remove the stinger by scraping with a straight-edged object like a credit card. Avoid tweezers as they may cause venom to be injected. Apply ice pack. Natural remedies include Aloe Vera gel and Chamomile, and essential oils like Neem, Eucalyptus, Clove, Camphor and Menthol. Eat foods rich in Vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids and Iron to reduce swelling.
We’ve all endured momentary agony when we’ve come under the wrath of an insect. Never underestimate the power of these insects – their stings and bites feel larger than life! Whether you live in a crowded suburb or the countryside, it’s inevitable that you will cross paths with such insects and their extended family.
Most of the times, when you’ve been stung or bitten, the symptoms manifest within a matter of seconds. You could experience swelling, burning or an unceasing itch. While the immediate instinct is to rush to a nearby clinic and seek pharmaceutical remedies, there are also some natural remedies that can cure these unforeseen mishaps.
Things To Do Immediately After An Insect Bite
Some of the commonly used methods to mitigate bites and stings include:1
- Removing the stinger from the affected area. This can be done by scraping it with a straight-edged object like a credit card.
- Never use tweezers to pull out the stinger as it can put pressure on the venom sac and may increase its flow into the skin.
- Place ice immediately on the stung area for atleast 10 minutes.
- Repeat this procedure until the symptoms lessen and seek medical advice if symptoms persist.
There are natural ways to treat insect stings and ease the swelling and pain associated with it.
Aloe Vera is believed to be a soothing antidote for stings and bites. Clinical research proves that Aloe vera gel promotes effective healing for burns, stings, insect bites and many skin lesions.2
Chamomile is proved to be effective for insect bites when topically applied. The anti-inflammatory property of Chamomile is said to curb itching better than over-the-counter medications. Chamomile application can cease itching within a matter of minutes.3
Research on the effectiveness of Essential oils proves that certain essential oils derived from Neem, Eucalyptus, Clove, Citronella, Camphor and Menthol gels have soothing properties, reducing the severity of insect bites. Use Essential oils with utmost care avoiding direct application on the skin. Wash your eyes immediately with cold water and seek medical advice if these oils come in contact with your eyes.4
It is said that eating food rich in Vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids and iron can help reduce the body’s reaction to inflammation or allergic reactions immediately after a bite or a sting.5
When To Seek Immediate Medical Advice
While natural remedies certainly alleviate symptoms, there are also certain kinds of bites/stings that can cause anaphylactic shocks in patients. An anaphylactic shock is characterized by shallow breathing, swelling and dilated blood vessels. The body produces an exaggerated reaction which can also be fatal. In such cases it is recommended that you visit your nearest hospital.
As always, prevention is the best cure. Avoid places that are swarming with insects and keep an insect-repellent at hand. Wear clothing that covers exposed parts.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Insect bites and stings, U.S. National Library of Medicine|
|2.||↑||Bhat, Geetha, Praveen Kudva, and Vidya Dodwad. “Aloe vera: Nature’s soothing healer to periodontal disease.” Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology 15.3 (2011): 205.|
|3.||↑||Useful Herbs: Chamomile, Health Wyze Report and Fidelity Ministry.|
|4, 5.||↑||Insect bites and stings, University Of Maryland Medical Center.|