August 15, 2011

Bug bites are a constant problem this time of year. The itching, scratching and general irritability are a sore spot for many parents. Let's look at a few bites:

Bug bite 1

Bug Bite 2


and now an abscess:



Here is a demographic:

Abscess Diagram



The goal of these pictures is to raise awareness of the need to be proactive to prevent both the bites and the abscess.


If your child has a bug bite and they scratch it open, I encourage you to clean it with rubbing alcohol to kill any germs that may be present. Hopefully, the staph aureus bug will not take hold and form an abscess. A big problem for us and our patients has been MRSA, a resistant form of this bug that is everywhere now. If an abscess does develop, seek medical help immediately.


On the other side of the game, try to avoid the bugs in the first place. Dawn and dusk are the times where mosquitoes are most active. Wear loose fitting


clothing and long sleeves. A great bug spray is made by ALL TERRAIN. The spray is all natural and made from geranium, cedar and citronella oils.


I have tested it on my family in a mosquito infested creek while crayfishing. Not a single bite in 45 minutes. This allows us to avoid the toxicity of synthetic chemicals like DEET.


Treating the itch is a good idea. Calendula cream by Boiron is a good topical cream. Topical benadryl can take the edge off. Covering the lesion can help prevent scratching and excoriation.


As always the answer is prevention first.


My take home point today: We need bugs, but I do not like their bite.


Crayfish without fear,


Dr. Magryta