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Urgent Care

Treatment for Tick and Insect Bites in Massachusetts and Rhode Island

Insect bites often occur in the summer when people spend a lot of time outside, but anyone can be susceptible to a bug bite at any time of year.  Some bites are common, but bites from ticks, spiders, fleas, mosquitos, mites, bedbugs, head lice, and chiggers may require treatment. Tick and insect bites usually pose an inconvenience, but some bites carry serious consequences, including West Nile Virus and Lyme disease.

At Southcoast Health Urgent Care Centers in MA & RI, our doctors treat a variety of insect bites and can teach you how to care for these types of bites in the future. If you are experiencing an adverse reaction to an insect bite, our experienced medical providers will examine the bite and determine the best next steps for treatment. Our urgent care team delivers immediate care for tick, spider and insect bites in Fairhaven, Dartmouth, Fall River, Seekonk, Lakeville, and Wareham, MA, and Middletown, RI.

Symptoms of Tick and Insect Bites Southeastern MA & RI

You may not even realize that you have a tick or insect bite before you experience symptoms. Common bug bite symptoms include redness, swelling, pain, itching, and skin that is hot to the touch.

It’s important to be aware of the specifics of bug bites so that you can identify what bit you. Here are some examples of common bug bite reactions:

  • Bed bugs leave small bite marks, with the surrounding skin becoming itchy and red
  • Bee stings leave behind red skin surrounded by a white area
  • Flea bites leave itchy welts, typically around the ankles and legs
  • Mosquito bites leave a raised, itchy bump that turns pink
  • Spider bites cause swelling, red skin, and pain.
  • Ticks can carry Lyme disease and cause rashes in the shape of an expanding bulls-eye

First Aid for Insect Bites

You can use common first aid to treat minor bug bite symptoms at home. Generally, cold compresses, hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion, and antihistamines help alleviate the itch or sting of a bug bite. Try the following home remedies if your tick or insect bites cause you discomfort or pain.

  • Wash the bite area with warm water. Apply an antiseptic. Repeat several times daily for two days.
  • Put a hot compress on top off the bug bite if it looks like the scab has become infected. Leave the compress in place for about 10 minutes.
  • Mix 1-part hydrogen peroxide and 3 parts water. Apply the solution to the affected area. Alternately, mix 1-part Betadine and 3 parts water and pour the solution on your bug bites. Let it dry for 2 minutes, then wash it off completely.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment four times a day.
  • Cover the affected area with a bandage to prevent scratching, which often leads to infection.
  • Learn to recognize the signs of a serious skin infection. These include redness and swelling in a large area around the bite. Insect bites are often warm and tender when you touch the area. Pus and drainage at the wound site also indicate infection.

If your symptoms do not go away, or worsen over time, this may mean that you have a serious infection or other complications that require immediate medical attention.

When to See a Doctor for Tick and Insect Bites

In some cases, a bug bite will require more treatment than a simple home remedy. A potential infection needs to be treated right away so that it does not worsen. Please visit a Southcoast Health Urgent Care Center if you experience the following after being bitten:

  • Fatigue
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Allergic reaction, such as trouble breathing
  • Joint pain or swelling
  • Fever, chills, or body aches

Urgent Care Centers Near You

Although many insect bites are simply a minor inconvenience, some need proper treatment so you can stay healthy. At Southcoast Health Urgent Care Centers, we will examine your insect bite and determine the best treatment method to address any infection that may be present. We are proud to serve Massachusetts and Rhode Island communities through our urgent care services – to learn more, please contact us today.