Insect bites

These rarely cause problems which need medical attention.

If you are bitten there may be discomfort, swelling and sometimes blistering. Itching is common. Try not to scratch the area.


  • Elevate the affected part of the body if possible.
  • Apply ice packs - bags of frozen peas or ice wrapped in wet towels are soothing and limit swelling.
  • Take antihistamines which can be bought from a chemist. These should reduce the itching.
  • Apply hydrocortisone 1% cream which can also be bought from a chemist.
You need to see a doctor if you notice the following signs of infection:
  • a yellow or green discharge from the wound;
  • a streaking of redness spreading up the body or limb;
  • a temperature.

Further information

This article published on
26 January 2006

Next review date 1/1/2013


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