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Insect Bites and Stings and Spider Bites - Home Treatment

Common bites and stings continued...

Consider a home remedy, such as putting witch hazel or underarm deodorant on the bite. Home remedies haven't been proven scientifically, but usually they won't hurt you if you want to try them.

Prevent a skin infection

  • Wash the area with soap and water.
  • After washing, wipe the area with rubbing alcohol or first-aid antiseptic.
  • Trim fingernails to prevent scratching, which can lead to infection.
  • Do not break any blisters that develop.
  • If a bite becomes irritated, apply an antibiotic ointment, such as bacitracin or polymyxin B sulfate, and cover it with an adhesive bandage. The ointment will keep the bite from sticking to the bandage. Note: Stop using the ointment if the skin under the bandage begins to itch or a rash develops. The ointment may be causing a skin reaction.

For home treatment of lice, scabies, tick bites, bedbugs, or kissing bugs, see the topics Lice, Scabies, Tick Bites, Bedbugs, and Kissing Bugs.

Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 06, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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