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Insect Bites and Hand Infections

Hands are a common site for insect and spider bites. Not all bites are dangerous and result in tissue damage. Most bites will result in swelling, redness, itchiness and pain on movement of the finger or hand. The use of over the counter sting remedies to reduce inflammation, together with icing and elevation will suffice in the majority of cases.

Those bites which result in skin changes (blue, black or yellow areas), which indicate tissue damage, may require closer attention. Toxins from the bite result in tissue death, and once underlying tissue in the hand has a lack of blood supply it is prone to developing a secondary infection. At this stage antibiotic treatment, antiseptic soaks and dressings may be necessary. Consultation with a physician is advised. Blood tests may be warranted in deciding whether to start with antibiotics or not.

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