When Should I Visit an Urgent Care for a Bug Bite?

Bug bites

If you are stung by an insect and begin to experience symptoms other than the usual bit of swelling and itchiness, then you may be having an allergic reaction. While mild reactions can be treated safely at home with over-the-counter remedies like hydrocortisone cream, caladryl or oral antihistamines, more severe reactions can be dangerous or even life threatening. 

Bug bites and symptoms you should never ignore

Just like dust, pollen, peanuts and other allergens, some people are allergic to specific insects. When they get bug bites, it can trigger a severe allergic reaction that requires urgent medical care. Severe allergic reactions can cause:

  • Hives, itching or swelling in areas beyond the sting site
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Vomiting, nausea or diarrhea
  • Tightness in the chest 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the tongue or throat 
  • Difficulty swallowing

In the most serious cases, bug bites can lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate medical intervention and treatment with epinephrine, corticosteroids and antihistamines. Symptoms of anaphylaxes can begin anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes of getting the bite. They include:

  • Dizziness
  • Sharp drop in blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Cardiac arrest

How to tell if a bug bite is infected

Aside from severe allergic reactions, infected bug bites are another reason you should visit your local urgent care. If the area around your bug bite turns red and begins to swell, you may be experiencing an infection. If you develop one or more of the following symptoms, seek urgent medical care, as these could be dangerous if left untreated:

  • Wide area of redness around the bite
  • Significant swelling around the bite
  • Pus
  • Increasing pain or warmth around the bite
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Long, red line extending out from the bite
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Some people may become severely allergic to bug bites after years of mild reactions. If you’re experiencing any of the warning signs or symptoms listed above, seek immediate medical care at Coastal Urgent Care of Ruston. We can help alleviate your symptoms and protect you from further complications. We’re open from 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Mon-Fri and 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Sat-Sun for immediate, walk-in treatment.