Flirty dresses, fruity drinksÃ¢â‚¬Â¦what's not to love about summer? How about itchy, painful insect stings? New OrleansÃ¢â‚¬“basedÃ‚Â dermatologist Larry Millikan, M.D., explains how to identify and deal with bug bites so you can get back to the beach.
The Critter: Mosquito The Sting: A red, itchy welt that can swell to the size of a quarter The Fix: You canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t instantly erase a skeeter bite. But you can minimize swelling and scarring by swallowing an OTC antihistamine and rubbing calamine lotion over the site a few times a day. Calamine's ingredientsÃ¢â‚¬”zinc oxide and ferric oxideÃ¢â‚¬”signal your skin to quit itching.
The Critter: Deer tick The Sting: A raised, round bite that can develop into a rash shaped like a bull'sÃ¢â‚¬‘eye The Fix: Though tick bites rarely cause itching or aches, they can lead to bacterial infections, including Lyme disease. GiveÃ‚Â yourself a onceÃ¢â‚¬‘over after walking through grassy, wooded areas. If you spot a tick, a bite, or a growing rash, see your docÃ‚Â (ASAP, if you feel dizzy).
The Critter: Bee, wasp, or hornet The Sting: A halfÃ¢â‚¬‘inch reddish bump that stingsÃ¢â‚¬”badly The Fix: Use a cotton swab to apply a basic meat tenderizer (available at any grocery store); enzymes in it can break downÃ‚Â bug venom and reduce pain and swelling. Covering the site with hydrocortisone cream can also curb puffiness.
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