Dealing with those Summer Bug Bites

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Don’t go scratching your skin silly.

I hate bugs, and I hate bug bites. If mosquitoes didn’t play some kind of vital role in the ecosystem (whatever it is), I would personally smash every mosquito in the world. Sadly, that’s not an option, so we just have to live with them. When you get your inevitable bug bites from going outside, or even just sitting on the couch minding your own business, it’s important to deal with them in a proper, medical fashion.

First and foremost, don’t scratch. I know, that’s the worst part, but excessive scratching and picking can potentially damage your skin. If you scratch bug bites too much, you could create open wounds that could start bleeding, or worse, become infected. Before things get to that point, use an over-the-counter anti-itching cream from your local pharmacy. Anti-itch creams employ antihistamines and soothing ingredients to lessen the itchiness and reduce swelling. In a pinch, rash creams will work as well, if only to soothe the itchiness.

In the event you have a more severe reaction to an insect bite, keep a close eye on the affected area. If it’s just swelling, redness, or heat, you may be able to manage it yourself. Apply creams, and consider also taking an allergy medication like Claritin. This’ll help speed up the healing process. In the meantime, apply an ice pack to the affected area to reduce heat and swelling. If the symptoms persist for more than a week, or the itchiness becomes especially severe or even painful, you may need to see a doctor.

As for preventative measures, the basics always work best. Wear long socks if you’re visiting an especially nature-dense area like a forest. If you know you’re going to be outside for a while, apply some bug spray. Try not to loiter around spots that attract a lot of bugs like dumpsters.

Don’t let some dumb mosquitoes determine whether you can go outside. Make sure to prepare properly, and if you still get bit, treat it properly. If you end up with a bunch of bloody scabs all over your arms, then you’re just letting the mosquitoes win.