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Bug Bites or Stings, First Aid

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.

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Genital

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 Virus (HSV), Sacral

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.

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