You may not see it, but these little flies will wait for the right time to bite you. These insects are called gnats or biting flies, which are commonly called no-see-um or biting midges in English. The bite of these tiny flies will cause painful and itchy welts that can turn into lesions in some people. Fortunately, you can treat these bite marks symptoms. You can treat the bite at home or get medical help. You can also take precautions to avoid being bitten by these insects.
Method 1 of 3: Treating Gnat Bites at Home
Step 1. Clean the bite with warm water and soap
After being bitten by a gnat, you should wash it immediately. The soap will clean the bite area and reduce the risk of infection, as well as remove any traces of insect saliva that may remain on the skin.
Step 2. Use ice or a cold compress to relieve pain and swelling
Use a cloth to wrap an ice pack or cold pack, then apply it to your skin for up to 15 minutes at a time. You can apply a cold compress or ice several times a day for the first 2 days after you are bitten by a gnat.
Step 3. Reduce itching by applying hydrocortisone cream
Purchase an over-the-counter 1 percent hydrocortisone cream at a drug store. This medicine can relieve itching if applied to the bite mark. Follow the directions on the product packaging so you can use it safely.
- Consult a doctor before you use this product in children under 12 years of age or pregnant/breastfeeding women.
- Only apply the cream to the welt, not getting it on the surrounding skin.
- Do not use this cream for more than 7 days, unless recommended by your doctor.
Step 4. Use calamine lotion to relieve itching
Instead of hydrocortisone cream, you can apply calamine lotion to the bite to relieve itching. Shake the lotion, then apply on a cotton swab. After that, apply a cotton swab on the welt.
- Always follow the instructions given on the product packaging.
- Consult a doctor before you use calamine lotion on children under 12 years of age or pregnant/breastfeeding women.
- You can use this lotion as much as needed for up to 7 days. If the symptoms do not subside within this time, see a doctor.
Step 5. Use aloe vera to relieve pain and itching
Aloe vera is a natural remedy that can be used to relieve pain and itching due to insect bites. Apply a little aloe vera gel on the welt.
You can buy aloe vera at a pharmacy or online. Make sure the product is not added with other additives. For example, don't use body lotions that contain aloe, as these products will not treat insect bites
Step 6. Take an antihistamine to relieve itching
A good option is diphenhydramine (eg Benadryl), but you can also take other drugs that don't cause drowsiness. Antihistamines will reduce the body's reaction to the bite so that it can relieve itching. However, these drugs can make you drowsy.
- Talk to your doctor before you take antihistamines.
- Always follow the dosage instructions on the product packaging.
- Remember, some antihistamines can cause drowsiness. So, you should not drive a vehicle or do activities that require full concentration.
- Talk to your doctor if you have to take diphenhydramine for more than 7 days. You should only drink it until the insect bite symptoms disappear.
Step 7. Use an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) to relieve pain and inflammation
You can take ibuprofen, aspirin, or motrin to relieve pain and swelling from a gnat bite. However, do not overuse it, and do not mix it with other drugs.
- Follow the dosage listed on the product packaging.
- Talk to your doctor to see if NSAIDs are safe for you.
Step 8. Avoid scratching the bite marks
Gnat bites usually break and bleed if you scratch them. In addition to making you uncomfortable and painful, this condition also increases the risk of infection. What's more, it can't get rid of the itching!
Scratching a gnat bite will also prolong recovery time
Step 9. Wait for the gnat bite to heal in about 2 weeks
Although it will heal completely in a few days, the bite will gradually improve with each day. If it doesn't improve, you should go to the doctor.
If the bite gets worse, go to the doctor immediately to see if you have an infection or an allergic reaction. Symptoms to watch for include: an increase in size, a reddened bite, the appearance of pus, pain, and swelling. You may also have a fever and other flu-like symptoms, which are signs of infection
Method 2 of 3: Getting Medical Help
Step 1. Get emergency treatment if you have an allergic reaction
Although rare, there are people who experience allergic reactions after being bitten by a gnat. This emergency condition requires immediate medical attention. Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- Difficult to breathe
- Swollen tongue
- Voice becomes hoarse
- Loss of consciousness
- Extreme itching
- Suffering from rash
- Tingling or itching in the mouth
Step 2. Watch for signs of infection
A gnat bite can indeed become an infection. This happens because of the germs in the gnat stinger. In addition, scratching can also lead to infection if your skin breaks. Some of the symptoms to watch for include:
- Swollen glands
- Flu-like symptoms
- Discharge of pus
Step 3. Take all the antibiotics your doctor has given you until they run out
Your doctor may give you antibiotics to treat the infection. You must take all the medicine until it runs out. Otherwise, the symptoms will reappear.
Step 4. Ask your doctor to prescribe steroid medication to treat severe itching
Although this is rare, your doctor may prescribe steroid medication to relieve extreme swelling and itching. You may have to choose this option if there are no other medications that can treat the symptoms.
- Steroids can be given by injection or intravenously.
- Your doctor can also prescribe a stronger hydrocortisone cream.
Method 3 of 3: Preventing Gnat Bites
Step 1. Use an insecticide such as DEET to kill the gnats
This product can protect the body when you go out of the house. You can spray this insecticide or use a product that makes the area unattractive to gnats, such as wax. The best product for dealing with gnats is DEET. However, you can also use other products, such as citronella (citronella).
- Always follow the instructions given when you use this product. Insecticides can be dangerous if used incorrectly.
- Only use insecticides when you go outside. Spray this product again according to the instructions on the package.
Step 2. Wear protective clothing
Keep your skin protected from insect bites. Cover exposed skin with long sleeves, socks, pants, shoes, and hats. You can even wear a hat with a soft gauze to keep the bugs from biting your face!
Light-colored clothing is better at repelling gnats than dark ones
Step 3. Close doors and windows during the dry season
These biting insects will enter your home and bite you. Gnats are small and can pass through window screens so you have to close them. These insects are very active in the morning and evening. So you have to close the doors and windows at that time.
You can put nets on windows and doors to help keep gnats out of your home
Step 4. Repel gnats with a fan
Turn on the fan to keep gnats from flying around your area. You can use any fan, but a rotating fan will cover a large area.
Use the fan safely! Do not place it near a pool or puddle of water as it may fall into it and cause a short circuit. Make sure the cord is plugged in properly and neatly arranged so there is no risk of tripping over it
Step 5. Avoid moist soil, such as around drains, when gnats are in abundance
These insects lay their eggs in moist soil, which you often encounter around ponds, rivers, and other waterways. Gnats are very active in the dry season, when the weather is hot. So you will find more gnats in that season.
- When camping in the dry season, choose a place that is not too close to the water.
- Since coastal areas can be prime habitat for gnats, look at maps before you visit or buy property in coastal areas.
- Go to the doctor if you get a bite near your eyes or mouth.
- Go to the doctor if the gnat bite doesn't improve after a few days have passed.
- Be careful when using insecticides. Always follow the directions on the packaging as this product can be dangerous if not used properly.