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How to Distinguish Between Various Bug Bites and Stings?

March 27, 2020
urgent care

With spring having just arrived and summer right around the corner, it's likely that you and your family will be spending some more time outdoors. While all the fun of long hikes, picnics, and outdoor gatherings are fun for everyone, they also bring about a set of risks that aren't present with indoor activities. Being exposed to bug bites and stings is never fun, but it's part of the season. Many people are scared about any kind of bug bite, and usually, this is because they're not sure what kind of bites are harmless, and which ones need to be taken more seriously. Here's our quick list of some simple steps you can take to distinguish between various bug bites and stings.

Learn to identify the most common bug bites first

Before you get too invested in learning about the more bizarre or outlandish bug bites that exist in the world, it's a good idea to inform yourself on some of the most common types of bites and stings first. Sure, it may be tempting to research bites from some rare Australian spiders, but you're much more likely to encounter the average bee sting. Focusing on bites that are common in your area can help you to be informed on all types of bug bites and stings.

Bee stings are perhaps the most common. However, that doesn't mean they're not dangerous. Sure, for most people a bee sting only brings a quick jolt of discomfort, but it's important to remember that some people can have nasty allergic reactions to bee stings. If you have red bumps that are painful, then you could be dealing with a sting from a bee or hornet. You can also look for the stinger in the bump to help you identify the source.

Mosquito bites are also pretty common, especially if you live in certain climates. These bites tend to be quite itchy. They also produce small red bumps on the skin similar to bee stings. However, typically mosquito bites are more itchy and uncomfortable than they are itchy.

Look at the site of the bite or sting

The area of the skin that's been affected is crucial to investigate if you want to learn about what caused the bite or sting. Some bites may produce puss and infections. Other bites may be painless. Learning to accurately identify bites is as much about educating yourself as it is about inspecting the site as soon as possible.

Tick bites are an interesting subject. Given the reputation that ticks have for spreading Lyme disease and other nasty infections, you may think that their bites produce an incredible amount of pain and discomfort. However, tick bites are actually painless. They also don't itch. In fact, this is part of why they're so dangerous. However, by inspecting your skin, you should be able to identify a tick bite in most cases. Tick bites typically cause reddening in the skin. If the tick is still intact in the skin, it may be even easier to locate and identify.

When in doubt, consult with your doctor or local urgent care centers

If you're just not sure about a bite, visit an urgent care center. Did you know that in the 2015 fiscal year, urgent care centers reported seeing an average of nearly 12,000 patients? That amounts to an average of three patient care visits per hour or 32 visits each day. So you're certainly not alone if you're visiting an urgent care center for a bug bite or any other medical issue. Even if it ends up being nothing, it doesn't hurt to play it safe. When it comes to identifying and treating bug bites and stings, medical professionals can be quite an incredible asset.

Are you wondering about the seriousness of a bug bite or sting on you or one of your family members? Are you dealing with some other urgent medical situation, but you're just not sure who to turn to for help? Don't hesitate to reach out and get in touch with a member of our team today. At Centric Urgent Care, our team of experienced medical professionals is here to offer answers, support, and immediate medical attention for you and your family members. It doesn't matter whether you're dealing with a bad bug bite, flu symptoms, or any other issue that requires family urgent care services - we're here to help. Contact us today to get started on setting up your first appointment. If you're just looking for some more information, that's fine too. We can't wait to hear from you!

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