Insect bites and stings

Advise people with an insect bite or sting that:

  • a community pharmacist can advise about self-care treatments
  • skin redness and itching are common and may last for up to 10 days
  • it is unlikely that the skin will become infected
  • avoiding scratching may reduce inflammation and the risk of infection
  • they should seek medical help if symptoms worsen rapidly or significantly at any time, or they become systemically unwell.

Be aware that:

  • a rapid-onset skin reaction from an insect bite or sting is likely to be an inflammatory or allergic reaction, rather than an infection
  • most insect bites or stings will not need antibiotics.

Think Tick – Link


  • Tick seen? – often drop off after feed
  • Erythema migrans – appears 3day-3months
  • Ticks most active – spring  – April/June


NICE Guide

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