Insect Bite Treatment in Littleton & Wheat Ridge, CO

When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?

Call IMMEDIATELY if a bite looks infected (red streaks, and very tender).

Call during office hours if:

  • Itching or pain is severe after treatment.
  • You have other questions or concerns.

Itchy Insect Bite Treatment

  • Steroid Cream.
    • To reduce the itching, use 1% hydrocortisone cream such as Cortaid. No prescription is needed. Put it on 3 times a day until the itch is gone.
    • If you don’t have, use a baking soda paste until you can get some.
    • If neither is available, use ice in a wet washcloth for 20 minutes.
  • Also, you can put firm, sharp, direct, steady pressure on the bite. Do this for 10 seconds to reduce the itch. A fingernail, pen cap, or other object can be used.
  • Allergy Medicine.
    • If the bite is still itchy, try an allergy medicine such as Benadryl. No prescription is needed. Sometimes it helps, especially in allergic children.

Painful Insect Bite Treatment

  • Soak a cotton ball in a baking soda solution. Rub the bite with it for 15 to 20 minutes. Do this once. This will usually reduce the pain.
  • You can also use an ice cube in a wet washcloth for 20 minutes.
  • To help with the pain, give an acetaminophen product such as Tylenol. Another choice is an ibuprofen product such as Advil. Use as needed.
  • For painful bites, allergy medicines don’t help.

Antibiotic Ointment for Infected Bite

If the insect bite has a scab on it and the scab looks infected, use an antibiotic ointment. An example is Polysporin. No prescription is needed. Use 3 times per day. Note: Usually impetigo is caused by scratching with dirty fingers.

  • Keep your child’s fingernails clean and short
  • Cover the scab with a bandage such as Band-Aid. This will help prevent scratching and spread.
  • Wash the sore and use the antibiotic ointment 3 times per day. Cover it with a clean bandage each time. Do this until healed.
  • Caution: For increases redness associated with pain to touch, red streaks, fever, and pus, your child needs to be seen.

For more information go to the “Parent Resources” Tab and then the “Is your Child Sick?”  Tab and look for “insect bites”