If you’ve ever been bitten by an insect, you know that it can be painful and itchy. In some cases, the insect bite may leave behind a red, swollen bump or blister. You may not see the same degree of reaction each time you’re a bit—sometimes there will only be a little red mark without any swelling or itching afterward. In other cases, the bite site may become very painful or tender, appear to get worse over time rather than better, and have a discharge from it (that is often yellowish).
If these latter symptoms occur after an insect bite you repeatedly or if your bite site has become increasingly sore and tender with no signs of improving on its own, then you may be dealing with something more serious than just regular “bug bite cellulitis”.
What Is Cellulitis?
Cellulitis is a type of bacterial infection. It is an inflammation or irritation of the skin and underlying tissue. It can involve any part of the body, but it most often occurs in the legs, arms, and face. The condition usually begins as a red, painful area, often with a warm sensation to it. As it progresses, the skin may become swollen, and a lump may develop as the infection grows beneath the skin. People with diabetes, those who have had a limb amputated, and anyone 60 years or older are at higher risk of cellulitis. There are two types of cellulitis: acute and chronic.
Acute cellulitis is a sudden bacterial infection that affects the soft tissues under the skin and usually occurs in the legs. This type of cellulitis is more common in people who have a medical condition that lowers their resistance to infection.
Chronic cellulitis is a long-term bacterial infection that affects the fat tissues under the skin. It is also more common in people with a weakened immune system.
How Do You Know If You Have Bug Bite Cellulitis?
If you’re bitten by an insect and you develop a bump or swelling at the bite site, it is most likely regular bug bite cellulitis. To be on the safe side, you should keep an eye on the site and monitor it for worsening. This includes keeping a close watch on the size and shape of the swelling or bump and making sure there is no discharge from it. If you see a change in the appearance of the site, if it gets larger or more painful, or if you see any kind of discharge coming from it, you may have an infection. If you have these symptoms, you should seek medical attention.
Bug bite cellulitis may cause mild fever, chills, and a general feeling of being unwell. When it comes to infection, you may also notice redness, warmth, swelling, and pain at the site. You may also feel tired and have a general lack of energy. In severe cases, you might even have a headache from the inflammation. You may also experience nausea or vomiting with it.
How Can You Tell The Difference Between Cellulitis From An Insect Bite And A Bacterial Infection?
The key difference between cellulitis caused by an insect bite and a bacterial infection is the presence of a discharge from the bite site. If you see fluid coming out of the bite or if it appears to be extending, then it is likely a bacterial infection. If you see no discharge from the bite and the swelling or lump remains at the same size, then you are likely dealing with regular old bug bite cellulitis. If you have a bacterial infection, you will often have a fever and will feel more unwell.
Cellulitis from a bacterial infection usually progresses very quickly, whereas bug bite cellulitis progresses more slowly. The bacterial infection will also likely show signs of extending beyond the original site, which is something that doesn’t happen with regular bug bite cellulitis.
Treating Your Bug Bite Cellulitis At Home
If you think you might have bug bite cellulitis and are unsure whether or not you should seek medical attention, there are a few ways that you can treat the infection at home. To help reduce the swelling, keep the area elevated above the heart. You can also apply an ice pack to the area for around 15 minutes at a time. Applying heat to the site can also be helpful. You can do this by soaking in a warm bath or using a heating pad set on low. You can also try to apply pressure to the area, which may reduce the swelling.
In some cases, doctors will suggest applying pressure with a warm compress or a warm towel. Over-the-counter pain medications, like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen, may help reduce the pain while you wait for the swelling to go down. When you’re trying to treat bug bite cellulitis at home, you should also try to avoid any unnecessary movement of the affected area. This will help to reduce inflammation and swelling.
When Should You Go To The Doctor For Treatment For Your Insect Bite-Caused Cellulitis?
If you think you have developed bug bite cellulitis, you should seek medical attention if any of the following occur:
– You see a large amount of swelling at the bite site and an extended amount of swelling in the area around the bite
– You see a discharge coming from the bite site – The swelling at the bite site doesn’t go away or gets worse quickly
– The bite site becomes very painful or tender with no signs of improvement on its own – You have a fever that is higher than 101°F
– You feel extremely tired and unwell
– You notice that the bite site looks different than it did when it first appeared (i.e. it looks larger, redder, etc.)
If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best to visit a doctor or go to the ER to make sure that you don’t have an infection. It’s also important to make sure that you don’t pass the infection onto others, so make sure you keep the bite site covered and clean while it heals.
Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that typically occurs in the legs. It can happen after an insect bite, but it is also possible to get cellulitis if you have a break in the skin. You can treat cellulitis with antibiotics. You can also prevent it by keeping your skin clean and wearing protective clothing when you are in areas where there are many insects. When you have insect bite cellulitis, you may feel tired, have a headache, and get a fever. You may also see swelling and redness in the skin around the bite.