Summer perils - and how to treat them

Home » Newsroom » Summer perils - look out for these

An insect bite or sting often causes a small, red lump on the skin, which may be painful and itchy.

Many bites will clear up within a few hours or days and can be safely treated at home.

It can be difficult to identify what you were bitten or stung by if you didn't see it happen. But don't worry if you're not sure — the treatment for most bites and stings is similar....and of course you can always visit Tarvin Pharmacy for some advice and treatment!

Wasp sting


A wasp or hornet sting causes a sudden, sharp pain at first. A swollen red mark may then form on your skin, which can last a few hours and may be painful and itchy.

Sometimes a larger area around the sting can be painful, red and swollen for up to a week. This is a minor allergic reaction that isn't usually anything to worry about.

A few people may experience a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), causing breathing difficulties, dizziness and a swollen face or mouth. Dial 999 for an ambulance immediately if you have these symptoms.

Bee sting


A bee sting feels similar to a wasp sting, but the sting will often be left in the wound.The sting can cause pain, redness and swelling for a few hours. As with wasp stings, some people may have a mild allergic reaction that lasts up to a week.

Serious allergic reactions can also occasionally occur, causing breathing difficulties, dizziness and a swollen face or mouth. Dial 999 for an ambulance immediately if you have these symptoms.

Tick


Tick bites aren't usually painful, so you may not realise you've been bitten straight away.

Symptoms of a tick bite can include:

  • a small red lump on the skin
  • swelling
  • itchiness
  • blistering
  • bruising
    Ticks in the UK can sometimes carry a potentially serious infection called Lyme disease, so they should be removed as soon as possible if you find one attached to your skin. See your GP if you develop any symptoms of Lyme disease, such as a rash that looks like a "bull's-eye" on a dart board or a fever.

Horsefly


A bite from a horsefly can be very painful and the bitten area of skin will usually be red and raised.

You may also experience:

  • a larger red, raised rash (called hives or urticaria)
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • wheezing
  • part of your body becoming puffy and swollen
    Horsefly bites can take a while to heal and can become infected. See your GP if you have symptoms of an infection, such as pus or increasing pain, redness and swelling.

Hopefully, you won't have to deal with the after effects of a nibble from one of these pesky creatures — but at least you have some more information and advice as to how to treat them now!