This patient information and photograph on Insect Bites is provided by John L. Meisenheimer, M.D. a board certified Dermatologist and skin care specialist based in Orlando, Florida. This information is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice or treatment of a dermatologist or other physician.
Most insect bites are minor annoyances that have little consequences, but rarely a person may have a more serious reaction. Any generalized reaction should be evaluated by a physician immediately. Symptoms suggesting a systemic might include, shortness of breath or hoarseness, hives, facial swelling, trouble swallowing or fainting. These symptoms can occur within minutes of the bite. This is a medical emergency and should call 911.
- The best treatment for insect bites is preventing the bite in the first place. I recommend using medium potency DEET containing products that are long lasting such as Sawyer Controlled Release Lotion repellent.
- For minor itching from insect bites try Sarna Anti-Itch Lotion or a product with 1% hydrocortisone such as Aloe Cort Cream or Aquanil HC. These products should all be safe to use on children.
- To help prevent secondary infection you can try a topical antibiotic such as Polysporin Ointment.