8 signs your bug bite may need medical attention

Ekaterina Karetkina/ShutterstockThere are some signs you shouldn’t ignore after getting a bug bite.
  • Some bug bites can be harmless, but others can have some serious health effects.
  • If you experience a fever, chest pain, or cramps after a bug bite you may want to seek out immediate medical attention.
  • You should seek medical attention if you experience severe reactions, like trouble breathing or dizziness, from bug bites.
  • Visit Insider’s home page for more stories.

From camping to unwinding in the backyard, some outdoor activities can be difficult to enjoy if you’re worried about bugs.

Redness and itchiness are pretty typical for most mosquito, tick, or spider bites. But some bug bites can lead to allergic reactions, diseases, or viruses, so it’s important to pay attention to your symptoms.

Here are a few signs that your bug bite may require medical attention.

Go to the emergency room if you have difficulty breathing after getting bitten or stung.

Jason Redmond/APIt could be a sign of a severe allergic reaction.

If you experience difficulty breathing after a bug bite or sting, it could be due to a severe allergic reaction, and according to the Mayo Clinic, you should go to the emergency room.

This reaction is particularly common with bee stings.

Difficulty breathing can be a sign that you have gone into anaphylactic shock, and according to WebMD, if you have a known, severe bee-sting allergy you should carry around any prescribed epinephrine injections at all times.

Nausea and cramps can mean a number of worrying things after a bug bite.

iStockCramps are something to look out for after getting bitten.

According to the Mayo Clinic, vomiting and body aches can be symptoms of the West Nile virus. Not everyone who contracts the diseases shows symptoms, but you may want to seek immediate medical attention if your reaction to a bite includes things like a high fever, severe headaches, or muscle weakness.

According to WebMD, severe abdominal cramping can also be a sign of a black-widow bite. If you think you could’ve been bitten by a black-widow spider, you may want to see a doctor to review if treatment is necessary.

That said, per WebMD, black-widow bites can be dangerous for young children so if you suspect a child has been bit by one, help them seek out immediate medical attention.

In addition, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain can be symptoms of anaphylactic shock, according to WebMD. If you suspect this may be the case with your bite, seek out immediate medical attention.

Consider seeking emergency medical care if you experience severe swelling from a bite or sting.

ShutterstockSwollen eyes, lips, or throat should not be ignored.

Swelling of the lips, throat, or eyelids is also a common sign of an allergic reaction to a bee sting. WebMD lists it as a symptom of anaphylactic shock and recommends seeking immediate medical attention if you are experiencing these symptoms.

According to Healthline, if you are experiencing swelling of the eye after a bug bite, you may want to to see a doctor – especially if the swelling is causing any pain, vision distortion, or floaters.

Dizziness, faintness, or confusion can also be signs of anaphylactic shock.

Sarah Schmalbruch/INSIDERIf your symptoms of dizziness become severe, medical attention may be required.

These kinds of symptoms could indicate either anaphylactic shock or a toxic reaction to a bite or sting. The Mayo Clinic recommends going to the emergency room if these symptoms are severe.

Look out for a target-shaped rash that could indicate Lyme disease.

anakopa/Getty ImagesIt’s important to catch Lyme disease symptoms early.

If you develop a red, target- or doughnut-shaped rash around the site of a tick bite you may have contracted Lyme disease.

Dermatologist Margaret E. Parsons of the American Academy of Dermatology recommends seeking medical treatment so you can be prescribed the proper antibiotics to better treat and manage the disease.

According to the Mayo Clinic, you should still visit your doctor even if the rash or other symptoms seem to disappear.

Don’t ignore a rapid heartbeat after a bug bite or sting.

iStockIt could be a sign of anaphylactic shock.

A rapid heartbeat is another symptom of anaphylactic shock and requires emergency medical attention.

Mayo Clinic recommends going to the ER if your heartbeat is racing after a bug bite or sting.

Hives can indicate a severe allergic reaction.

ShutterstockBe aware of the effect the bite has on your skin.

If hives persist after getting stung or bitten, the Mayo Clinic recommends going to the emergency room for immediate treatment as it can also be a sign of a severe allergic reaction.

In addition, per Medical News Today, you may want to seek out medical attention if you notice a blotchy rash on your body since that could also be indicative of a severe allergic reaction.

Fevers and headaches are also a sign you may want to seek medical attention.

Sarah Schmalbruch/INSIDERCheck your temperature if you don’t feel well after a bug bite.

As with nausea, headaches and fever can be symptoms of the West Nile virus, according to the World Health Organisation.

If high fever and severe headaches persist after a mosquito bite, seek medical care, especially if you are over the age of 50 or immunocompromised and have a higher risk of getting seriously ill from the virus.

According to WebMD, Lyme disease symptoms also include headaches, fever, and chills, as well as other flu-like symptoms.

If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause short-term memory loss or heart problems, so seek medical help as soon as possible.

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