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Most insect bites cause local reactions – itching and swelling confined to the area of the bite that usually clear within a few hours.
Medication: If the area is painful or the bite is swollen, you may take painkillers such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen. If the bite is very itchy you may chose to take an antihistamine tablet. Always read the leaflet before taking medication or ask your local pharmacist.
If you have a severe allergic reaction to an insect bite, such as a wheezing or difficulty breathing, call 999 immediately.
How to be Sun Smart
There are a number of ways you can stay prevent sunburn, for example you should:
Wear clothing to protect your skin – long-sleeve shirt, trousers and a wide-brimmed hat.
Wear good quality sunglasses to protect your eyes
Wear sun protection, minimum Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15, (or higher if you have fair or sensitive skin) and re-apply frequently.
Keep babies and children out of direct sunlight
If you have sunburn you should avoid re-exposure, keep out of direct sunlight and cover the affected areas and stay in the shade.
Cool the skin by sponging it with lukewarm water or by having a cool shower or bath. Applying a cold compress, such as a cold flannel, to the area affected will also cool your skin.
Drinking plenty of fluids will also help you to cool down and will replace water that is lost through sweating. It will also help to prevent dehydration (when the normal water content in your body is reduced, causing thirst and light-headedness).
Avoid drinking alcohol because it will dehydrate you even more.
For mild sunburn, apply a moisturising lotion or after sun cream, available at pharmacies. After sun cream will cool your skin and moisturising it, helping to relieve the feeling of tightness. Moisturisers that contain aloe vera will also help to soothe your skin. Calamine lotion can relieve any itching or soreness.
Painkillers can help to relieve the pain and reduce the inflammation that is caused by sunburn.
Paracetamol can be used to treat pain and control fever. Ibuprofen is a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which can relieve pain, reduce inflammation and lower a high temperature. Aspirin should not be given to children who are under 16 years old. Before taking any medication always read the leaflet or ask your pharmacist.
Severe cases of sunburn may require special burn cream and burn dressings. Ask your pharmacist for advice. You may need to have your burns dressed by a nurse at your GP surgery.
Very severe sunburn cases may require treatment at your local A&E department.