Insect Bites (cont.)
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When to Seek Medical Care
Hives are the most common systemic symptom. They appear as irregular, raised, red blotchy areas on the skin and are very itchy. If hives are the only systemic symptom present, they are often treated at home with an antihistamine but if other symptoms such as shortness of breath and/or other symptoms listed below occur, 911 should be called.
If you start to experience symptoms that are not just at the site of the bite or sting (or if you have a history of severe reactions), seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms (systemic symptoms affect the whole body) may progress to fatal anaphylactic shock.
If the bite appears infected (redness with or without pus, warmth, fever, or a red streak that spreads toward the body), see a doctor immediately.
If you don't know what bit or stung you, it is important to keep watching the area closely to be sure it does not become infected. Call your doctor if there is an open or ulcerating wound, which may suggest a poisonous spider bite.
People who have a history of severe reactions should go to the nearest hospital's emergency department after a bite or sting if they experience any symptoms. Those who have no history of severe reactions should also go to the emergency department immediately or call 911 if they have any of the following symptoms:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/7/2014
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