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Bug Bites That Blister: What to do?

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Bug Bites That Blister: What to do?

Bug bites are, for the most part, annoying but harmless. The response to a sting or bite from insects is variable and depends on a variety of factors. Most bug bites and stings result in pain, swelling, redness, and itching to the affected area. But these bites can sometimes result in blistering. Why do blisters form? What can you do to treat a bite that blisters?


Last updated on July 7, 2013




Blisters can develop due to allergies to bug bites

Many of the mosquito saliva proteins can cause immune reactions, including allergic reactions. Severe reactions are not common but they may result in blistering rashes, bruises, or large areas of swelling at the bite sites. People who experience extremely large areas of swelling after a mosquito bite have been dubbed as having "Skeeter Syndrome". 

In rare situations, some people may experience anaphylaxis after being bitten by mosquitoes. Other people may have experienced whole body urticaria and angioedema (hives and swelling), or worsening of asthma symptoms after being bitten. Typically, these symptoms occur within minutes after a mosquito bite, compared to Skeeter Syndrome, which may take hours to days to occur.

Types of bites that may cause blisters

Insect bites:

If you are particularly sensitive to insect bites, you may develop bullae (fluid-filled blisters) or weals (circular, fluid-filled areas surrounding the bite).

Tick bites:

Tick bites are not usually painful and sometimes only cause a red lump to develop where you were bitten. However, in some cases they may cause swelling, itchiness, blistering, and bruising.

Spider bites:

Spider bites typically form a blister or pustual on top of the bite within 1-2 days.
Brown recluse spider bites don't cause problems for most people. But in a small percentage of cases, the swelling may form a blister. If this happens, a dark, scabby material called eschar may cover the blister within a week after the bite. If you suspect this bite, see your doctor. This ulcerated area can continue to enlarge if not treated promptly by a physician.

Mites:

Mites cause very itchy lumps to appear on the skin and can also cause blisters.

Bee stings:

Bees are the most typical stinging insects (this includes wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets). Pain from a bee, hornet or wasp sting is immediate, with rapid swelling, redness, warmth and itching at the site of the sting. Blisters may also occur.

What to do when bug bites blister?

Most bites get usually better on their own, but it can sometimes take a couple of months. So it's always a good idea to see a doctor for proper treatment.

  • Use an adhesive bandage to protect the blistered area. 
  • Don't scratch the bite because this can make the bite more itchy and swollen and increase the chance of a secondary infection. Blisters do not often cause pain unless they rupture, exposing the new skin underneath. 
  • Use cool damp compresses to relieve the itching.
  • Plantain may be used externally to treat blisters and insect bites. A poultice of the leaves may be applied to the affected area. For relief from an insect bite, simply shred (or chew) a plantain leaf and hold it on the bite for a few minutes. A plantain ointment can also rapidly relieves itching and swelling.
  • Calendula ointment may be applied on a blister. Calendula is a helpful herbal remedy in the treatment of mosquito bites and other insect bites.

Some complications such as secondary bacterial infections are sometimes associated with bug bites. If you develop a severe reaction to bites, consult a doctor as soon as possible to avoid serious health complications. Natural treatments are often used and effective to treat bites, but some herbs may also cause undesired health side effects. The content of this page is not a substitute for medical advice.



Other useful links and articles about bug bites and blisters


Some people may experience allergic reactions after a mosquito bite. Learn about what is referred to as Skeeter Syndrome.

How to heal blisters?
Find tips on how to treat small blisters. Certain herbal remedies can help you heal quickly and naturally!

If you think this article may be useful for others and want to link to it, please use the following format: Beck, Josephine. "Bug bites that blister: what to do?" Optiderma.com. July 27, 2011. http://www.optiderma.com/en/they-talk-about-it/skin-articles/bug-bites-that-blister-what-to-do.html

What to do when a bug bite blisters? Feel free to share your own experience by leaving a comment!

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