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How can I treat insect bites at home?

The following procedure can treat most minor bites and stings at home:
  • Place an ice or a cold pack onto the bitten or stung area.
  • Carefully remove any stinger in the skin.
  • Remove the stinger from the bottom with tweezers or scrape the stinger out from the skin with a credit card or nail file, being careful not to squeeze the top of the stinger (venom sacks) to prevent more venom entering the skin.
  • Take an antihistamine such as Benadryl if itch develops -- this medication causes drowsiness, so you should not drive or do dangerous activities after you take the pill.
  • Apply to the bite or sting hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion or a baking soda paste.
  • Apply to the affected area a gel or a lotion containing at least 80% aloe vera.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.