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Bites and stings can happen if an animal or an insect feels threatened. Animals can cause puncture wounds with their teeth. Insects inject venom into your skin with their stingers. Animals and insects that commonly bite or sting include:
Usually, bites and stings cause only minor injury. However, seeking medical help is recommended for the following situations:
Dignity Health Central California can help you manage bites and stings with personal care. See your doctor or visit your nearest emergency room if you need help right away for a bite or sting in Central California. Use our InQuicker tool to choose your estimated hospital arrival time, and wait at home until your time to be seen.
Bites can create wounds ranging from minor to severe. A bite wound can become infected if it breaks the skin. Redness and swelling are the typical signs of infection.
Stings can sometimes feel hot to the touch, and cause pain, itching, redness, and swelling. A severe, life-threatening allergic reaction — anaphylaxis — can also result from an insect sting. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
Call 911 or seek emergency medical care if you experience any of these symptoms.
Your treatment for bites and stings depends on your sensitivity and allergies. If you know that you are allergic to stings, ask your doctor to prescribe an epinephrine autoinjector. Epinephrine can treat the severe symptoms of anaphylaxis in an emergency. If you experience a sting, call 911 and seek immediate medical attention even if your symptoms are mild.
If you are not allergic to stings, you can manage most bites and stings at home by following these steps:
If you not sure if you are allergic to insect stings, Find a Doctor at Dignity Health Central California who can diagnose your allergies.
Dignity Health Central California is here to assist you with care for bites and stings in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.