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Gnat/mosquito bites

Postby edjohnsar on Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:28 pm

My wife suffers quite a severe reaction to bites sometimes.the area around the bite swells up quite large .Is there anything that she can use to alleviate this reaction?
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Re: Gnat/mosquito bites

Postby Sarah Buchan on Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:08 pm

Hello,

Many thanks for posting your question - it is the time of year when many patients ask us about bite prevention and treatment.

My first piece of advice to patients is to try to avoid being bitten. Depending on where you are travelling to, this may involve the use of:
- mosquito nets over your sleeping area at night time
- wearing long sleeves and long trousers in the early morning and early evening when mosquitoes are most prevalent
- preparations containing DEET are the most effective at preventing mosquito bites, apply this to areas of exposed skin
- ensure you wear shoes when going outside
- avoid perfumes / deodorants / shampoos with a strong perfume as these can attract insects
- avoid camping near water as this is where mosquitoes and insects are most commonly found.

If after taking these precautions your wife is still suffering from new bites, I would recommend firstly washing the area with soap and water before placing a cold compress on it to reduce the swelling. It is very important not to scratch the area in case it becomes infected.

Additionally, your wife may wish to take paracetamol or ibuprofen (as long as she is not already taking any preparations containing these ingredients) for pain / reduce the temperature of the bite.
An antihistamine tablet or cream may also be used to reduce the itch and if necessary, a mild corticosteroid cream such as 1% hydrocortisone may be applied to a small area of unbroken skin (as long as this is not on the face) to reduce swelling and itch.

If the swelling at the site of the bite is severe or doesn't clear after a few days, please contact your GP as soon as possible to be seen.

I hope this advice is helpful for you and your wife. Please do let me know if you have any further questions.

Kindest regards,

Sarah
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