Whether you’ve been bitten by a mosquito, a spider, or some other bug, most insect bites will clear up on their own in just a few days. Ordinary insect bites will not require any medical treatment. But if you suspect that your bite has become infected, it may be time to see an urgent care doctor.
When to go to urgent care for an insect bite
The most common reason to visit an urgent care clinic for insect bites is not the bites themselves but infection. Bugs don’t wash their hands before they bite you, and you may not always wash your hands before scratching an insect bite. Because an insect bite is a break in your skin, there’s always a small chance your bite could get infected. Always watch for changes around your skin at the site of your insect bite.
You should see an urgent care doctor for your insect bite if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- New redness or swelling at the site of the bite more than 24 hours after you’ve been bitten
- Muscle or joint aches
If you have trouble breathing or your lips or tongue are swelling after an insect bite or sting, you should go directly to the emergency room. More minor allergic reactions such as hives can be treated by your urgent care doctor.
What your urgent care doctor can do for insect bites
If your insect bite is infected, your urgent care doctor may provide antibiotic treatment. Your doctor may also prescribe topical or oral steroids to help relieve extreme itching.
What you can do for insect bites
The best thing you can do for your insect bites is to refrain from scratching them. You can use a topical, over-the-counter ointment to help relieve itching.
If you do start to notice changes in an insect bite, it can be helpful to take progress pictures to demonstrate how your bite is changing.