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Bug Bites

By Melissa Gutierrez
Posted On Apr 19, 2016
Bug Bites

Spring is in bloom effect and summer’s vibrant rays are right around the corner, bringing with them sleeveless shirts and shorts that expose our arms and legs. During this season, we instantly become prime targets for all critters lurking, crawling…and waiting to bite.

A combination of bad luck and my adventurous tendencies landed me in the ER multiple times after a bug bite got badly infected. Medical attention was necessary to sedate the affected area, an incision was made to drain the wound, and a week-long of antibiotics ensued.

A real downer in the tumultuous world of all things sunshine.

In order to spare any more visits to the ER, I decided to make a phone call.

I dialed my friend Christopher Seaver, who is a surgeon at Holy Cross Hospital in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., area. I asked him a few questions to help me better understand insect bites and how to treat them. As to be expected from the girl he last treated for a seriously infected wound in the right buttocks.

New You: “What are the top five common bites that you have encountered?”

Christopher Seaver, M.D.: “The most common bites are dog bites, but that doesn’t pertain to you here. Red ants, mosquito bites, and the ones we are most concerned about are spider bites. More specifically, a brown recluse bite. Although not as common, we do have brown recluse here. People that are coming out of the Everglades, I treat them for reptile bites, like snake bites.”

New You: “Any home care remedies for bites?”

Christopher Seaver, M.D.: “The key is to know if the bite is infected or not. Keep the bite clean and use soap and water to wash the area. Also, clean it once or twice, no more than that, with hydrogen peroxide. What most people don’t know is that peroxide is cytotoxic; it kills the good and bad. So, prolonged use of it will decontaminate the area, but will also prevent it from healing. Also, don’t put cream on it because this will prevent the wound from draining. If it’s more than a basic wound, especially if you have other medical issues, seek medical attention.”

New You: “So, when do we know to seek medical attention?”

Christopher Seaver, M.D.: “When you know the wound is infected. Signs of infection are: redness, significant pain, area feels warm to the touch, and if it is draining. Check for any induration, meaning the skin around the wound feels firm, which is a sign that the local tissue is infected. Also, check for fluctuance, which is the feeling of fluid under the tissue.”

Cover Photo Credit: www.scienceabc.com