Bites or stings from insects (arthropods) are very common. Most reactions are mild and result due to an allergic reaction to either the insect or the toxins injected with the bite or sting. Some people have severe reactions to the stings of:Bees Wasps Hornets Yellow jackets These stings may require emergency help. The bites of most insects – such as ants, mosquitoes, flies, spiders, ticks, bugs, and mites – do not cause such a severe reaction.Sometimes, it may be hard to tell which type of insect has caused the skin lesions, as many insect reactions are similar. Flying insects tend to bite any exposed skin areas, while bugs such as fleas tend to bite the lower legs and around the waist and often have several bites grouped together. Some individuals are far more sensitive to insects and have more severe reactions, so the fact that no one else in the family has lesions does not rule out an insect bite.First Aid GuideFor stings:Bees may leave a stinger behind – Try to gently scrape off the stinger with a blunt object, such as a credit card. Wash the wound with soap and water. Apply an ice pack or cold water for a few minutes. Take acetaminophen for pain and an antihistamine (diphenhydramine or chlorpheniramine) for itching, as needed.For insect bites:Wash with soap and water. Apply cool compresses. Use antihistamines to relieve itching and take acetaminophen for pain. 1% hydrocortisone cream may help reduce the itching. For ticks (still attached), see the first aid section on Tick Bites.
Fleas are bloodsucking insects that live on pets, livestock, and humans. They are small, 1–4 mm (1/16 to 1/8 in.) in length, and blackish-brown. Although wingless, fleas are capable of taking giant leaps, jumping to a height of several meters. Adult fleas feed only on blood and are capable of going long periods without feeding. Fleas that live on humans (Pulex irritans) are relatively uncommon. The species that humans are most likely to encounter is the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis), which also infests dogs. Humans may also encounter the dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis) or the rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis). Cat, dog, and rat fleas do not live on people, but they will bite a human if they encounter one and are looking for a blood meal. Fleas most often bite people around the legs and the ankles. The resulting red bump is an allergic reaction to flea saliva. The bites, which are usually but not always felt immediately, become increasingly irritated and may remain sore and/or itchy for as long as a week. Itching may be just at the site of the bites or more generalized in nature.
As one of the most frequent causes for visits to the doctor's office, insect bites and/or stings are quite common among infants. While bites and stings on an infant are typically just an inconvenience, some reactions can be life threatening. The severity of an insect bite will vary from child to child, and only a small minority of infants develops this severe reaction (anaphylaxis).It is important to get immediate medical attention for a severe reaction to a bite or sting, such as those that may occur with stings from bees, wasps, and hornets. Most insects (such as ants, mosquitoes, flies, spiders, ticks, and mites) do not cause such a severe reaction.A bee will occasionally leave behind a stinger attached to a venom sac. It is important to try and remove it as soon as possible. Wasps, on the other hand, do not leave their stingers in the skin after stinging, which means they can sting more than once.
Bites or stings from insects (arthropods) are very common. Most reactions are mild and result from an allergic reaction to either the insect or the toxins injected with the bite or sting. Some people have severe reactions to the stings of: Bees Wasps Hornets Yellow jackets These stings may require emergency help. The bites of most insects – such as ants, mosquitoes, flies, spiders, ticks, bugs, and mites – do not cause such a severe reaction.Sometimes, it may be hard to tell which type of insect has caused the skin lesions, as many insect reactions are similar. Flying insects tend to hit exposed skin areas, while bugs such as fleas tend to hit the lower legs and around the waist, and often have several bites grouped together. Some individuals are far more sensitive to insects and have more severe reactions, so the fact that no one else in the family has lesions does not rule out an insect bite.
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by infection with the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are 2 major strains of this virus: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simple virus type 2 (HSV-2). In general, genital herpes is caused by HSV-2, and "fever blisters," or herpes on the face or lips, is caused by HSV-1.HSV-2 can cause small, open, tender sores to develop on the genitals or in the buttocks. Though the virus is very contagious to others, only 20% of people who are infected will develop sores. The sores are usually described as an "outbreak," with the first outbreak occurring within weeks of exposure to the virus and subsequent outbreaks over a person's lifetime usually occurring less and less frequently. The sores themselves often crop up in the same place on the body. The sores are very contagious and are spread by skin-to-skin contact. Most people (up to 80%) never have an outbreak of sores, but they are still contagious and may spread the disease to others.There is no cure for genital HSV. The only way to protect yourself is to know your sexual partners and to wear condoms. However, many people are unaware that they are infected with HSV. A doctor can check for HSV infection by doing a test on an open sore, or if there is no sore, by ordering a test on the blood. This is not a standard STD test, so make sure to ask your doctor if you have concerns. A pregnant woman with genital HSV can transmit the disease to her baby during delivery, which can be fatal for the baby. Make sure to discuss your sexual history with your doctor if you are pregnant. Your doctor can also help provide treatments to lessen the severity of outbreaks and may help you identify triggers (such as stress or illness) that may bring on outbreaks.
Herpes simplex infection of the lower back and buttocks—also called sacral herpes simplex or genital herpes—is a common recurrent skin condition associated with infection by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). HSV infection usually appears as small blisters or sores around the mouth, nose, genitals, buttocks, and lower back, though infections can develop almost anywhere on the skin. Furthermore, these tender sores may come back periodically in the same sites.Infections with the herpes simplex virus are very contagious and are spread by direct contact with the skin lesions. There are 2 types of HSV: Type 1 and Type 2. HSV Type 1 (HSV-1) infections usually occur around the mouth, lips, nose, or face, while HSV Type 2 (HSV-2) infections usually involve the genitals, lower back, or buttocks. However, HSV-1 can sometimes cause infections in the genitals or buttocks, while HSV-2 can occasionally cause infections around the mouth, lips, nose, or face.Both types of herpes simplex virus produce 2 kinds of infections: primary and recurrent. Because it so contagious, HSV causes a primary infection in most people who are exposed to the virus. However, only about 20% of people who are infected with HSV actually develop visible blisters or sores. Appearing 2–12 days after a person's first exposure to HSV, the sores of a primary infection last about 1–3 weeks. These sores heal completely, rarely leaving a scar. Nevertheless, the virus remains in the body, hibernating in nerve cells.Certain triggers can cause the hibernating (latent) virus to wake up, become active, and travel back to the skin. These recurrent herpes simplex virus infections may develop frequently (every few weeks), or they may never develop. Recurrent infections tend to be milder than primary infections and generally occur in the same location as the primary infection.HSV-2 infections are transmitted sexually or from a mother's genital tract to her newborn baby. HSV-2 is often spread through direct skin-to-skin contact with active lesions on another person. However, people who have herpes simplex virus infections may be contagious even when they do not have any skin lesions, which is called asymptomatic shedding.Because sacral HSV is not located in the groin area, people may not realize that they have a form of genital herpes. In fact, they may think that they have a recurrent skin condition such as shingles, a yeast infection, or an allergic reaction. However, sacral herpes is considered to be a form of genital herpes.
Urticaria is the medical term for hives. Hives form when an allergen (something that causes an allergic reaction, such as a lotion, food, or drug) initiates a response from the body's immune system. A chemical in our bodies called histamine is released from cells, which causes small red, soft bumps to appear on the skin. Hives look similar to and are often mistaken for bug bites. They are very itchy and can appear all over the body once an allergen is encountered. A single hive can last for a few hours before fading, during which time new hives may appear.Although sometimes the exact cause of hives is unknown, the following is a list of possible triggers: foods such as peanuts, shellfish, and eggs; environmental allergies such as pollen, trees, and animal dander; and medications such as antibiotics, aspirin, and painkillers.
Bedbugs are very small (apple seed-sized) insects (Cimex lectularius) that feed on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded mammals. They live in dark, dry places such as mattresses, rugs, and upholstered furniture, and come out at dawn to feed by making small bites in their food source. The bite itself is painless, so children rarely wake up at the time of the bedbug bite, but the resulting bite leaves behind a highly allergenic (allergic-reaction causing) substance in the skin. This substance causes a very itchy rash in most people. Your child will awaken with a rash of scattered pink or red bumps or a welt. The bumps themselves are not dangerous, but children can get skin infections if they scratch and break the skin. Bedbugs probably do not cause the spread of blood-borne diseases.
Fleas are bloodsucking parasitic insects that live on pets, livestock, and humans. Human fleas (Pulex irritans) are relatively uncommon, and the species most likely to bite humans is the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) or the rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis).
Halloween is coming up, and you know what that means: creepy crawlers abound. While most spiders we see around this time are plastic, there are roughly 30,000 species of real spiders, and many of them are venomous. How can you know when you get a spider bite, and what should you do if you get bitten? Only a few species of spiders have fangs that are strong enough to penetrate human skin. In the United States, venom from species of Loxosceles and Latrodectus produce well-known toxic effects. We will also discuss the tarantula’s unique means of attack.
What bit me? Bedbugs. Scabies. Fleas. Spiders. Ticks. Lice… All can cause rashes, itching, and a lot of worry. The recent surge in bedbugs in eastern cities has everyone talking about how to find and kill bed bugs. But if you have a new rash or itchy red bumps, how do you know if bed bugs are the cause? Maybe your skin problem is not even related to insects or bugs and is caused by something different altogether. Many skin disorders like eczema (atopic dermatitis) and/or infections of your pores (known as folliculitis) can have an itchy rash, and these conditions have nothing to do with biting bugs, although people often wrongly assume that these common skin conditions are “bug” related.
It's Halloween and sometimes the scariest things of all are the smallest little monsters in our homes and on our bodies! In the spirt of the season, we asked some of our experts to share images and videos they've collected of the spooky little buggers in action. ------------------- And the top four creepiest critters include:
July is prime “biting season” for insects, whether they are mosquitoes, gnats, ticks, chiggers, or other biting insects. There are very few people who have not experienced the discomfort of incessant itching from a bug bite.
As summer tans fade, we may see remnants on our skin of those happy hours spent in the sun. That is because the cells (melanocytes) that produce skin tone or pigment (melanin) are stimulated by sun exposure to produce more melanin. Excess melanin can cause visibly uneven areas of darker skin, a condition called hyperpigmentation. Conversely, other areas may lose melanin, resulting in pale or white spots, a condition called hypopigmentation.