Gnat Bites – What Can I Use To Treat Them?
Gnats are something that we all have had to deal with at one point or another, but did you know that there are really many kinds of “gnats”? Some bugs are simply referred to as gnats because they are of similar shape and size, such as midges. Some biting gnats fly solo and prefer to nibble on you and suck your blood privately; and others form large groups and towards you as if you were a free steak buffet. Gnat bites in general are usually harmless, but having an allergic reaction to bug bites can be serious or even deadly, meaning that prompt identification of insect, bee and fly bites is always the critical first step in treatment.
The first part of treating gnat bites is similar to almost any injury or bite. Wash it. There is no point in tending to a dirty wound, and even though you might not be able to see the opening of your wound, it’s there; it’s just very, very tiny. So, gnat bites treatment begins (and for mild cases, sometimes ends) with a good and thorough cleansing. You may elect to take your cleansing a step further, and use an antiseptic. If you are outside the United States, an extra layer of antibacterial protection will not be wasted, as bacterial transmission via insects is much more common outside the contiguous 50.
If you need to take your gnat bites triage a step further (and likely, if you do it will be because of your own discomfort), you can apply a hydrocortisone cream or other anti-itch topical. Because gnat bites can take their lunch or your blood straight from your dermis and leave behind a little bit of themselves as a parting gift, the remnants they decided to donate to you can create a rather itchy situation. Because scratching is the biggest no-no with all insect bites, applying a cream that can calm the itch is both welcoming and needed to keep you from “digging in” to the problem.
While normal treatment of the munching of gnats is mild and usually resolves without issue, serious and even life threatening situations can arise and require immediate medical care. Allergic reactions can lead to anaphylaxis and stroke, while untreated bacterial infections can spread and cause internal damage. If you exhibit any signs of allergy or infection, seek appropriate medical or emergency treatment as necessary.