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Insect Bite Reactions

Insect bites and stings can be simply divided into 2 groups: venomous (poisonous) and non-venomous.
A sting is usually from an attack by a venomous insect such as a bee or wasp, which uses this as a
defence mechanism by injecting toxic and painful venom. Whereas non-venomous insect bites pierce
the skin to feed on your blood. This usually results in intense itching, which can be prolonged in some instances.

Venomous Non-venomous
Bees Mosquitoes
Wasps Fleas
Hornets Ticks
Yellow jackets Lice
Fire ants Scabies
  Bed bugs
  Caterpillars & moths

What are the signs and symptoms?

For most people, insect bites or stings cause a mild reaction. Venomous stings usually cause a stinging sensation or pain with redness and swelling of the area. Itch is usually not a concern. In some people
who are sensitive to insect venom, a sting may cause a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.
This results in facial swelling, difficultly breathing and an itchy rash over most of the body. This can be life-threatening so immediate medical attention and treatment needs to be sought.

Non-venomous insect bites usually cause little more than an intense
irritating itch for most people. The bite may show up as a small raised red spot. It may blister. Unfortunately the urge to scratch usually
results in an open sore that may become infected and take longer to heal.

What is the treatment of insect bites and stings?

If the reaction is mild, insect stings should be treated by first removing the stinger. The site should be
cleaned with a disinfectant and an ice or cold pack applied to reduce pain and swelling. If an insect sting
causes a severe reaction or anaphylaxis, urgent medical attention should be sought. The main treatment
aim of insect bites is to prevent itching. Topical and oral antihistamines, calamine lotion, and topical local anaesthetic agents may provide relief. As generally only brief treatment is required moderate potency
topical steroids may also be used to provide a longer effect.



Common Child Conditions

Atopic Eczema in Children
Childhood Birthmarks
Insect Bite Reactions
Skin Infections in Children

Dr Lynn Chiam of Children and Adult Skin Clinic in Singapore treat INSECT BITE RTEACTIONS in most children in Singapore.








Commom Adult Conditions

Acne Vulgaris
Eczema/ Dermatitis
Skin Cancers
Adult Hair Loss
Common Acquired Facial Pigmentation
Viral Warts

Mt Elizabeth Novena Specialist Medical Centre 38 Irrawaddy Road #07-22  Singapore 329563
Tel: (65) 6570 2303    Fax: (65) 6570 2302    Email:

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