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Is This A Normal Bug Bite? - Teri Cochrane

Is This A Normal Bug Bite?

This week we’re talking all things health & summer - and that includes bug bites! With Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever growing in prevalence, it’s more important than ever to know how to tell a “normal” bug bite from a bump that could have serious consequences…

Ordinary bug bites might include nips from: mosquitoes, horse flies, fire ants, bees, and non-poisonous spiders. 

These bites may be red, itchy or swollen… but that’s ok! Most insect venoms include a dose of histamine, an organic compound that elicits an inflammatory immune response, so a small bump with redness, itching or minor swelling is to be expected. These “ordinary” bites can generally be treated with a natural salve of calendula, apple cider vinegar, baking soda and honey to reduce discomfort and heal the skin. Echinacea and charcoal as a tincture may also help to pull out any poisons. 

Serious bug bites often come with a unique set of symptoms and a funky appearance. These bites include: tick bites, poisonous spider bites, wasp or hornet bites. 

Hornet or Wasp Bites

Aside from the bite itself, wasp or hornet venoms may cause additional side effects like dizziness, coughing, chest tightness or nausea. An antihistamine like benadryl or a natural antihistamine like Quercetin may help to reduce and inhibit these effects, though always seek medical help if your symptoms intensify.  

Spider Bites

Spider bites can be tough to read, since we don’t always see the spider that bit us! An easy tip for discerning whether the bite is serious or not is to draw a circle in pen around the direct circumference of the bite as soon as you can. If the bite swells significantly past the circle of pen, you may be dealing with a more serious venom, and should seek help accordingly. 

Tick Bites

Lastly: tick bites. Lyme-carrying ticks are famous for leaving a tell-tale “bulls-eye” rash on their hosts - but this isn’t always the case! Lyme & other viral-indicative rashes can come in all shapes and sizes, notably spots of red lesions called “disseminated” lesions, lesions that are blueish-red in color and a single red circular rash. Be sure to check in areas that are hard to see or covered by hair, like the backs of your knees or your scalp!

The lesson here is to always pay attention to any bug bites you receive and seek help if you notice any symptoms that are out of the ordinary - the body always knows!

For more information on how to manage Lyme or related co-infections, click the link in my bio to schedule a consult. 

*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be used as medical advice. If you have experienced a serious bug bite, seek help from a medical professional or your GP. 

To The Tru Of You,
Teri Cochrane

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