Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is this insect bite making me sick?"
I got bit by a strange insect yesterday. Didn't think much of it but today it is red and itchy around the bite and I feel sick to my stomach. Could it be from the bite or do I just have the flu too?
I definitely recommend that you go see your primary care doctor about this for a quick evaluation. After an insect bite, it is pretty common for there to be some redness and itching. Many different insects have components in their saliva that causes this local reaction after getting a bite, and most of the time this dies down after a day or two without treatment. However, there are two potentially serious things that need to be ruled out. First, some insect bites can become infected. If this occurs, there may be spreading redness and warmth around the insect bite. This can require prescription antibiotics in order to clear up. Second, there is the potential for an allergic reaction, especially if you have a history of allergies to insect bites. Some insect bites or stings can provoke very serious allergic reactions (most of the time these are insects like bees or wasps), and nausea may be a sign of an allergic reaction. Other symptoms of a serious allergic reaction might include swelling of the face or tongue or trouble breathing. If you have any of these other serious signs of an allergic reaction go to the emergency room right away. Otherwise, get in to see your primary care doctor as soon as you can.
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