A general awareness of first aid practices is very important. It not only saves lives around you but can also be helpful in case you yourself experience an unfortunate incident. The first aid guides however usually only focus on injuries that might result through a road accident. Insect bites is not something which many people know how to tend to, even though they are very common.
Insect bites are very common and can surpass the amount of road accident injuries in areas which are surrounded by forests. Camping trips are a vacation of choice for many people and without a sound knowledge of insect bite first aid, can very quickly turn out to be dreadful. In this article, we are summarizing all the first aid rules for insect bites.
Types of insect
The first thing that you need to do while treating an insect bite is to identify the insect itself. There are two types of stings. Some insects have basic venom while others are acidic and the treatment for both of them is very distinctive and if the treatment methods are exchanged, you can end up making matters worse. A good practice is to quickly look up common acidic and basic insects and then identify which category matches your situation.
If the source of bite is an unknown insect then you should immediately rush to the nearest doctor. Insect bites which do not hurt severely initially should not be ignored at all and you should make it a point to get a medical opinion as soon as possible since some venoms spread at a slow rate but can be deadly.
What should you do?
Once you have identified the insect, there is no time to waste, you should immediately tend to the victim. If the stinger is still in the skin of the person, you should try to get it out by scrapping a flat edged object on the skin. You should avoid using tweezers, since that leads to squeezing which ultimately leads to the spread of the venom.
Once the stinger is out, wash the area with soap and water. The next step is to work on reducing the pain and swelling. For this purpose, you should press an ice-pack, wrapped in a cloth, gently on the swollen area. Do not put ice directly on the skin as that can damage the skin cells. These steps should be enough initially. In the days to come, you should apply a paste of water and baking soda on the impacted area several times a day.
Some people can have a severe allergic reaction to an insect bite and their body can quickly begin to swell. In such situations it is necessary to quickly contact a doctor since these people can go into a fatal anaphylactic shock in a matter of minutes. Insect bites should not be taken lightly and it is always good to head to a hospital, instead of self-treatment.
This article was produced in partnership with oladoc.com, a digital health company in Pakistan. Using oladoc, you can find the best medical specialists in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad, and book an appointment online.