insect bite


The term "insect sting" refers to a defense action of an insect with a poison sting. The insect bite (mosquito bite) leads to an injury or interruption of integrity of the skin surface. In this way the insect injects a poisonous secretion under the skin with the sting.


An insect bite is very unpleasant and can hardly be prevented. In general, it can be assumed that every human being suffers an insect bite at least once in their lives. Although an insect bite is in most cases a defense reaction of insects, two forms must be distinguished. So-called non-blood-sucking insects break through the skin surface of the victim exclusively for self-defense. These insect genera inject a poisonous secretion under the skin surface through their sting. This leads to a local skin reaction in most people, without the organism being affected. Therefore, most insect bites lead to more or less painful redness in non-allergy sufferers, which may be accompanied by pronounced itching. In addition, local swelling is one of the typical side effects of an insect bite. In some cases, however, it can come after an insect bite to pronounced immune reactions (allergic reaction). In contrast, blood-sucking insects break through the victim's skin surface to extract proteins from his blood. These proteins are essential for the development of eggs after mating.

Blood-sucking insects

  • fleas
  • lice
  • bugs
  • mosquitoes
  • brakes
  • a few butterfly species

Non-blood sucking insects

  • bees
  • wasps
  • Hornets
  • ants

You might also be interested in: Hornet Stings - They are so dangerous

Physical reactions to an insect bite

Not everyone affected reacts equally strongly to an insect bite. While most people experience only mild signs of skin irritation following an insect bite, others respond with violent defensive reactions. In addition, the intensity of the physical response to an insect bite depends significantly on the strength of the insect venom

Direct stitch response

Immediately after the insect bite, those affected typically experience skin reactions that are limited to the puncture site. The first symptom of an insect bite is a pronounced, sharp pain that occurs during the penetration of the insect bite. Depending on the location of the insect bite, the pain may even last for a few days. In addition, there is a local swelling in the area of ​​the injection site. This swelling may last up to six days, depending on the strength of the insect venom. Also, the appearance of redness, which may be accompanied by severe itching, is a typical symptom of an insect bite.

The severity of the direct sting reaction largely depends on the strength of the insect venom. The poison of bees, wasps, hornets or bumblebees usually has a particularly strong effect on the human body. It is believed that several hundred bites of these insects can be fatal in a non-allergic. In these cases, it comes a short time after the insect bite to a so-called rhabdomyolysis . This means that the affected person has a resolution of striated muscle fibers, for example skeletal muscle, cardiac musculature and / or cardiac musculature. In addition, the poison of these insects has a negative effect on the blood count after the sting. A short time after the insect bites it may come to a resolution of the red blood cells (erythrocytes). As a result, a sufficient oxygen transport and thus the oxygen supply to the organs can no longer be maintained. In addition, blood clotting disorders and the so-called platelet deficiency (term thrombocytopenia) are among the most common consequences of multiple insect bites.

While it is in non-allergic people therefore only in hundreds of insect bites from insects with enormous poison strength to a threatening situation, in allergy sufferers, however, a single insect bite can lead to life-threatening reactions.

Allergic reaction

Especially people who often suffer from insect bites tend to develop further allergic reactions (insect venom allergy). For those affected, the poison of a single insect bite can lead to a life-threatening situation.

Depending on the severity of the insect venom allergy symptoms of localized skin reactions, such as redness, swelling or wheals, a general symptoms with nausea, headache and large-scale skin reactions to respiratory distress and a life-threatening anaphylactic shock. The typical signs of allergy to insect bites may be very rapid. For this reason, fast action is necessary in a known allergic person. In general, an allergic reaction to an insect bite within 10 minutes to 5 hours is characterized by a typical symptomatology.

If the following symptoms occur after an insect bite, then a doctor must be consulted immediately:

  • increased body temperature or fever
  • increasing swelling and / or rash
  • a headache
  • giddiness
  • Nausea and / or vomiting
  • Pain in the area of ​​the chest
  • Tightness in the chest
  • difficulty breathing


After an insect bite does not always have to see a doctor. In most cases, the symptoms caused by the insect bite can be effectively alleviated by simple home remedies. However, if you suffer a variety of insect bites in a short time, then a doctor should be visited. This rule also applies if after the insect bite particularly pronounced symptoms, such as widespread wheals, are observed. If a suspected allergic reaction is present, a specialist should be consulted immediately.

First aid with insect bite

The typical complaints that can be caused by an insect bite can often be alleviated already by simple first aid measures. People who often suffer from insect bites should therefore carry a special vacuum pump as a preventative measure. With the help of this pump, the sting of the insect can be sucked out of the skin surface after an insect bite. If the sting is removed early enough, it can be avoided in many cases that the insect bite swells at all.

Another tool against insect bites are the so-called Stichheiler. It is about a hand-sized device that heats up at a certain point to about 50 degrees Celsius. The heated spot of the device can be placed on the insect bite. The heat derived from the stitch healer can destroy the proteins of the insecticide. In addition, the Stichheiler inhibits the release of histamine. For this reason too, an excessive immune reaction after the insect bite often remains.

The symptoms associated with a fresh insect bite can also be effectively reduced by immobilizing the affected body area. The reason for this is the fact that the insecticide can spread less rapidly in the organism with reduced movement.

In addition, an insect bite should be cooled if possible. In this way, especially the local swelling and the intense itching, which are considered typical symptoms of an insect bite, can be alleviated.

If an allergic reaction occurs after an insect bite, cortisone-containing ointments can be used. Despite the use of such an ointment, a doctor should be consulted immediately.

Home remedy / self treatment

Immediately after the insect bite, the insect's spine should be removed using a fingernail or tweezers. However, care must be taken that the sting is pulled and not expressed. In trying to push a sting after an insect bite out of the skin, the distribution of the insecticide into the circulation may be encouraged.

Through the use of special syringes, the insecticide can be reliably sucked off. Corresponding syringes can be purchased in pharmacies or drugstores. When aspirating the insecticide, place the syringe just above the insect bite and pull the plunger up. In this way, the poison can be sucked out of the skin by negative pressure. Alternatively, the poison can also be sucked with the mouth. In this context, however, it must be noted that the poison must not be swallowed with saliva afterwards.

Another popular home remedy for an insect bite is the cold wash of the injection site with water and pH skin neutral soap. By washing the amount of poison may be diluted and the symptoms are thus alleviated. The effectiveness of this home remedy can be additionally increased if the insect bite is cooled after washing with an ice cube.

To inhibit the inflammatory processes another home remedy can be used. Especially tea tree oil is particularly well suited to curb the inflammatory skin reactions. Lemon peels can also be used to alleviate the swelling and the itching associated with the insect bite. With regular use of this home remedy, the local swelling back within a few hours. In addition, lavender oil is considered to be a particularly effective home remedy for relieving the itching typical of an insect bite. Also, envelopes of cold cottage cheese, which are placed several times a day on the affected skin surface, can help alleviate skin reactions.

Swelling, pain, redness, itching

Typical symptoms of insect bites are painful redness with itching and local swelling.

Already a short time after an insect sting occur in many of those affected typical symptoms. In addition to local redness can often detect a swelling. Both reddening and swelling of the affected area of ​​the skin represent a direct reaction of the organism to the insect venom. By transferring the insect venom into the human body, there is an immediate increase in the blood circulation. For this reason, a more or less pronounced redness appears on the skin surface. In addition, the permeability of tiny skin vessels is increased by the poison. In this way, fluid can escape into the surrounding tissue and cause local swelling. In addition, even the penetration of the poison during the insect bite already causes a slight swelling. In recent years, it has also been observed that insect bites result in much more extensive swelling and redness. This does not always have to be an indication of an allergic reaction. It can be assumed that the strength of the poison of many insects has increased in recent years.

Furthermore, pain is one of the typical symptoms of an insect bite. The pain usually occurs during the penetration of the spine into the skin surface and are described by those affected as sharp and piercing. Pain of this quality usually lags behind within a few minutes. Due to the local effect of the insect venom, however, burning pain may occur afterwards.

Excessive pain, even hours after the insect bite, on the other hand, may indicate an allergic reaction. Patients should urgently consult a doctor for further signs of allergy. After the insect bite, the proteins that enter the organism via the saliva of the insect cause a local inhibition of blood coagulation. As a result, the body begins to activate defense mechanisms and release the hormone histamine. This hormone is responsible for the development of the sometimes severe itching. Under certain circumstances, this itching can persist even days after the insect bite and be very stressful for the person affected.

However, simple tricks that should be used immediately after the insect bite can help to effectively relieve itching. Especially by cooling the affected area of ​​the body, both the spread of insect venom and the release of histamine can be inhibited. As a result, the sufferer experiences markedly less pronounced itching. Also redness and swelling could be inhibited in this way.

Bladder after insect bite

If the sting site is red after an insect bite first, then it solidifies and eventually forms blisters, this usually indicates an allergy. Insect sting allergies are usually allergies to the released poison of insects, which is injected into the puncture site. Here, the bubbles usually disappear by themselves, a few days after the sting.

Another cause of blisters can be purulent inflammation. This usually arises when the person scratched the puncture site and does not clean properly. Germs get into the wound and it ignites. This can lead to the production of pus, which manifests itself in blisters on the skin. When you open these bubbles, a yellowish liquid comes out. Here it is important to thoroughly clean the wound site (iodine or wound disinfection).


Excessive itching after an insect bite can cause the person often scratching the irritated skin area. As a result, pathogens can get into the puncture site and cause the insect bite to inflame.

If the insect bite is inflamed, this can be manifested by various symptoms. As a rule, the redness and swelling increase significantly as soon as the insect bite is inflamed. In addition, there is an overheating of the affected area. Also severe pain in the area of ​​the puncture site are among the typical symptoms of an insect bite, which is inflamed.

To avoid possible complications, a doctor should be promptly consulted and appropriate treatment should be initiated. Depending on the severity of the inflammatory processes, an antibiotic-containing ointment must be applied at regular intervals. In addition, the symptoms of an insect bite that is inflamed can be treated with a locally effective cortisone preparation.

blood poisoning

Blood poisoning occurs whenever an infection does not remain localized, but spreads through the bloodstream throughout the organism. The cause of blood poisoning can already be a small wound, for example an insect bite. Nevertheless, it must be noted that it does not always come after an insect bite to such pronounced reactions. In most cases, the insect bite is uncomplicated and heals in a timely manner. In the case of the blood poisoning it is therefore only a complication, which can occur in the course of an insect bite.

The reason for the occurrence of blood poisoning after the insect bite is the inability of the immune system to effectively combat the inflammatory processes in the area of ​​the puncture site. In this way, bacterial pathogens, which are normally found on the skin surface, can enter the organism via the bloodstream. As a result, those affected develop an inflammatory reaction that spreads to the entire body.

In the case of blood poisoning, symptoms appear that indicate an inflammatory reaction of the entire organism. Affected patients usually develop a significantly increased heart rate (tachycardia). In addition, there is an increase or decrease in body temperature (fever or hypothermia) in a blood poisoning after insect bite. The blood pressure of those affected is typically significantly reduced ( hypotension ).

Other symptoms of blood poisoning after an insect bite are:

  • Pain
  • fast breathing (tachypnoea)
  • difficult breathing (dyspnoea)
  • Dehydration symptoms
  • Restlessness and confusion
  • Dazed to the point of coma

The classic symptoms of blood poisoning after insect sting usually increase significantly within a short time. In severe blood poisoning threatens life danger due to multi-organ failure. For this reason, a doctor should be consulted immediately in case of suspected blood poisoning after an insect bite.

Insect bite on the eye

Stings on the eyes are mostly caused by mosquitoes. They can be very uncomfortable because, for example, the eyelid can be affected and the eye can completely sway. In addition, the eyes can be tears and itchy. The stitches on the eye are usually no more dangerous than those on any other body site. They are only much more conspicuous and sufferers usually suffer from more pronounced symptoms.

The fact that the tissue is very permeable, it can also come to a bruise. To reduce the intense itching and swelling, one can cool the eye. The sting is dangerous only when it ignites. Then, as with all inflamed mosquito bites, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible.

The insect bite itches after weeks

Long itching of a mosquito bite can have two causes. On the one hand, it is possible that an allergic reaction is the cause and thus leads to a longer-lasting reaction. On the other hand it can come by scratching the mosquito bite to a prolonged reaction to the sting, because, for example, bacteria can penetrate. It is also a trigger of long itching as it rashes the skin, resulting in a small, long itchy bruise.

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Insect Bites and Stings | Insect Bites Treatment | How to Treat Insect Bites and Stings | 2018 (August 2020).

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