Insect and spider bites often cause minor
swelling, redness, pain, and itching. These mild reactions are common and may
last from a few hours to a few days. Home treatment is often all that is needed
to relieve the symptoms of a mild reaction to
common stinging or biting insects and spiders.
Some people have more severe reactions to bites or stings. Babies and
children may be more affected by bites or stings than adults.
Examples of problems that are more serious include:
A severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Severe allergic reactions are not common
but can be life-threatening and require emergency care. Signs or symptoms may
may occur if the circulatory system cannot get enough blood to the vital
Coughing, wheezing, trouble breathing, or feeling of
fullness in the mouth or throat.
Swelling of the lips, tongue,
ears, eyelids, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and mucous membranes
toxic reaction to multiple stings or bites from a bee,
wasp, or fire ant.
bee leaves its stinger behind and then dies after
stinging. Africanized honeybees, the so-called
killer bees, are more aggressive than common honeybees
and often attack together in great numbers. Reaction to bee stings can range from minor skin swelling and redness to a serious allergic reaction.
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
June 04, 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