While research is being done on how to take the itch out of bites, currently prevention - and time - is still the best medicine. Image: dabjola/iStockphoto Mosquitoes, biting midges, bedbugs, ticks and fleas will make a meal of us given the opportunity. And it isn’t the pain or annoyance of the bite but our bodies' reactions that often cause greater problems. Biting insects are different to stinging insects. The former primarily cause allergic reactions due to the saliva they inject when feeding, while stinging insects (such as ants, bees and wasps) inject venom when they bite. Insect venom causes pain and swelling at the site of the sting and may cause anaphylaxis. Reactions can be quite severe and include urticaria, nausea, vomiting, hypo-tension, respiratory problems and, in very rare cases, death. The reddish, inflamed and swollen reactions to bites result from an injection of insect saliva. This is a chemical cocktail of substances designed...
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