Doctor To You is a 100% bulk billed, after hours, home doctor visits service. Our blog aims to inform and educate people about our service and general health matters.

Bug Bites: When To Call A Doctor

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Summer is here, lazy beach days with the family and camping trips with friends can begin...hooray! but there is one thing that truly sucks about summer, with warm weather and exposed skin brings insect bites! For most, it’s not a big deal and nothing a little insect repellent won’t keep away but for others it could cause serious harm.

Insects and spider bites are usually harmless and cause only minor swelling, redness, itching and discomfort. These minor reactions are common and usually disappear within a few hours to a few days, treatments such as over-the-counter inflammatory or antihistamine drugs and some calamine lotion are generally all that is needed to relieve the symptoms these little critters cause however, some bites can be more serious, some bugs carry diseases and others can be deadly but how do we know and what should we look out for?

The first noticeable signs that your bite could be serious are significant pain, swelling and bruises, it’s also a good idea to check the area around the bite to see if it seems to be spreading significantly. A severe allergic reaction to a bite (anaphylaxis) can be life-threatening so it’s important that if you experience difficulty breathing, a feeling of a tight or closing throat, chest pain, a racing heart or vomiting that you seek urgent medical attention, call triple zero (000) or take a trip to your nearest emergency room.

What bit me?

Learning how to identify a bug bite by how it looks and feels will help you know whether to seek medical care or treat the bite at home.


Mosquito Bite

A Mosquito bite is one of the most common bites during the warmer months as they’re attracted to warm body temperatures and sweat. Their bites are usually harmless and only appear as a red, itchy and annoying bump yet in some parts of the world Mosquitos can carry diseases such as Malaria and Dengue Fever (rare in Australia) , symptoms of such diseases include headaches, body aches, fever, vomiting, diarrhea and skin rashes and will appear between 2-14 days after receiving the bite. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention.


Tick Bite

Ticks are often found in plants and bush and can attach to and bite people and animals. Most tick bites are not harmful. If a tick is found on the skin remove the tick using tweezers as close the skin as possible and apply antiseptic cream. It is normal for Tick bites to remain itchy for several weeks however, if the Tick is not removed properly it can cause an infection. Look out for signs such as redness, puss, pain around the bite wound and high body temperatures, if you develop a any of these symptoms, feel unwell or experience muscle weakness or paralysis, see a doctor.

Insect/Spider bites and stings

Insect Spider Bite

An insect bite can be determined by the puncture wound left in the skin, bites and stings can cause various reactions including skin irritation, inflammation and swelling depending on what bit you but most of these reactions will be minor and will clear up within a day or two.

You should see a doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms from an insect/spider bite or sting, severe swelling, fever, chills, nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting . If you think you are having a severe allergic reaction or experience difficulty breathing call triple zero (000).

If the bite occurs after hours and you are worried it might be serious our home visit doctors can help. Call 1300 30 38 34 or book online.