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Bites & Stings

Most bites and stings cause no major health problems, however, they can be incredibly itchy and uncomfortable, particularly if they start to swell up. Find effective treatments in our range to stop bites and stings from being a nuisance, and stock up ahead of the summer months or before holidays to warmer climates.

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    An insect bite usually causes a small red lump on the skin, but the size will vary depending on the insect that has bitten you. The bites can be very itchy, and sometimes painful, and usually disappear on their own after a few days.

    Mosquitos are probably the most common type of insect bite (particularly in summer) and in most parts of the world they are completely harmless. You should be careful in tropical and subtropical areas of the world though, as mosquitoes carry malaria parasites.

    Bed bugs, fleas, mites, gnats and midges all leave very small red marks that are usually painless (yet itchy) and often formed in small clusters. Horsefly bites tend to be bigger and much more painful, but again don’t often cause further problems. The bites you need to be careful with are tick bites because they can carry Lyme disease. If you notice a tick attached to your skin then you should have it removed and make sure to do this carefully and properly.

    Stings are also caused by insects, but instead of biting you, they get you with their stinger (which they sometimes leave embedded in your skin). Wasps and hornets sting regularly and it will cause a sharp, sudden pain as they do. This then leaves a swollen red mark on your skin which can become painful and itchy but will usually fade after a few days.

    Bees sting far less frequently, and if a honey bee stings then it will die in the process (because it cannot pull the stinger back out, it has to rupture its own abdomen to leave it behind, which then kills them). A bee sting looks and feels very similar to a wasp or hornet sting, but you will sometimes notice the sting still in the skin.

    Bites and stings usually go away by themselves in a matter of days, but they can be extremely itchy in the meantime, which you may want relief from. At UK Meds, we offer a number of products that will help to relieve the feeling until the mark has gone.

    It’s a wise idea to wear insect repellent throughout the summer months (and especially on holiday) to avoid the risk of being bitten or stung. Some people experience mild allergic reactions to bites and stings where the skin around the mark goes red and raises slightly. This is normally nothing to worry about but if you notice any severe symptoms then you should contact your nearest emergency department.

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