An insect bite can lead to four main risks: wound infection, tetanus, toxic reactions in the presence of venom, and allergic reactions or Quincke’s oedema (angiooedema).
Toxic and allergic reactions can manifest themselves by redness, oedemas, and swelling in less serious cases. In other cases, the patient may experience internal pain resulting from the sting, a decrease in blood pressure, choking sensations, stomach pain, fainting, vomiting, and diarrhoea. The insects responsible for these reactions are, most of the time, mosquitoes, flies, lice, fleas, wasps, bees, ants and spiders. In the case of Hymenoptera such as bees, hornets, wasps etc.., the stinger, if visible, must be quickly removed with tweezers. In all cases, the wound should be cleaned with soap and water before applying an antiseptic solution. A seires of homeopathic remedies can be taken to quickly relieve the effects of benign bites, and even to prevent them.
Ledum Palustre 5 to 7 CH is the most commonly used remedy to prevent insect bites. The dose consists of 3 granules, to be taken in the morning and evening during the exposure period. The affected person may also take 5 granules of Lung Histamine 15 CH every evening or Apis 5 CH, in the morning and evening as well. These remedies are useful for beekeepers or during the mosquito season.
The typical homoeopathic remedy in case of insect bites is Apis mellifica, a honey bee-based solution of which the effects are quite quick. The first intake will be of 15 CH-dilution, and the subsequent ones, to be taken every 15 minutes, will need to be of 5 CH-dilution. This remedy may be supplemented by Ledum Palustre in case of a painful wound and mid-sized oedema. In case a bruise is caused by the bite, taking Arnica montana 5 CH or Tarantula Hispanica 5 CH in addition to the above-cited treatment is recommended. Urtica urens is particularly well-suited for dealing with insect bites that cause itching and burning sensations. Furthermore, in case of blisters, it can be used in combination with Cantharis 5 CH.
These remedies are also available in local application, although Calendula-based ointment is the most commonly used remedy in this type of care. Thoroughly clean the skin and apply a compress soaked in Calendula 2 to 3 times per day. If the affected area presents secondary infections, apply a layer of Homeoplasmine and take 5 granules of Belladonna 5 CH three to four times a day, or opt for two daily intakes of Pyrogenium 7 CH and four daily doses of Rana Bufo 5 CH. The secondary infections should be less apparent during the day.
Seeking medical attention is recommended when one suffers a bee or wasp sting to the buccopharyngeal area, when the swelling does not decrease in size or when the lymph nodes close to the insect bite feel painful. For all of the above-cited cases of allergies, it is always indicated to see a doctor. The consultation is also recommended if the lesion is painful to touch, if the affected limb feels very hard, in case of heat sensation, and if a red patch appears and grows. If the insect bite is followed by headaches or fever, or if the patient experiences abnormal fatigue, it is always best to consult a doctor as well.
In more serious cases, it may be required to call emergency services. Emergency situations particularly include cases in which the oedema is located on the face and is accompanied by conjunctival redness. In addition, widespred urticaria with itching of the palms and of the feet’s soles that within 15 minutes after the insect bite are also a great cause of concern. There is also an emergency situation if the patient is then subject to breathing difficulties, dizziness, faintness, or low blood pressure. When there are numerous insect bites, the patient may be confronted to diarrhoea, vomiting and convulsions.
Good to know: According to beekepers, taking Apis mellifica 5 CH twice a day during 3 days prior to exposure helps to prevent bee stings. As for Ledum Palustre 7 CH, it is every effective against mosquitos.