Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms allergic reaction Evaluation Treatment severe allergy Home Care itching warning signs Outlook Complications Underlying Cause

Bitten by Fire Ants Home Care

Home care for ant bites includes:

  • Apply a cold compress:
    • Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 4 hours, for the first few days.
  • Apply 1% hydrocortisone cream for itching.
  • Do not open fire ant blisters.
  • Elevate the area above your heart if swelling is present.
  • Clean the ant bites:
    • Use mild soap
    • Clean 3 times a day
  • Take oral antihistamines for itching:
  • Take prescribed medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.

Bitten by Fire Ants Itching

Home treatment for itching in someone who has ant bites includes:

  • Wash the skin with mild soap and water.
  • Massage the itchy area with an ice cube or cold compress.
  • Take a cool bath or shower. Consider oatmeal (Aveeno) baths.

Medications for itching include:

Bitten by Fire Ants Warning Signs

Seek immediate medical care for ant bites and any of the following:

Notify your doctor for:
  • Pus draining from the bite
  • Red streaks spread from the bite
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Fever over 101 degrees F (38.3 C)
  • Worsening pain around the bite
  • Worsening skin redness and pain around the bite
  • Yellow of brown scabs form around the bite

Continue to Bitten by Fire Ants Outlook

Last Updated: Nov 30, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Bitten by Fire Ants References
  1. Golden DB, Kagey-Sobotka A, Norman PS, Hamilton RG, Lichtenstein LM. Outcomes of allergy to insect stings in children, with and without venom immunotherapy. N Engl J Med. 2004 Aug 12;351(7):668-74. [15306668]
  2. Graft DF. Managing insect sting allergy. The ins and outs of venom immunotherapy. Postgrad Med. 2005 Jul;118(1):38-42. [16106918]
  3. Moffitt JE. Allergic reactions to insect stings and bites. South Med J. 2003 Nov;96(11):1073-9. [14632354]
  4. Steen CJ, Janniger CK, Schutzer SE, Schwartz RA. Insect sting reactions to bees, wasps, and ants. Int J Dermatol. 2005 Feb;44(2):91-4. [15689203]
  5. Stibich AS, Carbonaro PA, Schwartz RA. Insect bite reactions: an update. Dermatology. 2001;202(3):193-7. [11385222]
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