Infected Insect Bites

Learn about insect bites & stings and book an appointment with a PillSorted online pharmacist to get further consultation on treatments and prescriptions.

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Insect bite sufferer


Insect bites are common occurrences usually resulting in temporary discomfort and minor irritation. However, bite wounds can sometimes become infected, cause serious allergic reactions, or illnesses.

Insect bites and stings


Infected insect bites are usually the result of itching or scratching a bite or sting and making it easier for viruses, bacteria, fungi, or other microorganisms, to enter the bite wound. So as you already know, try not to scratch!


If your insect bite does not get better after a few days, you may have an infection—especially if you notice any of these symptoms around the bite wound:

  • Pain or tenderness
  • Increasing redness or swelling that spreads or radiates
  • Feeling warm to the touch
  • Drainage or pus


To relieve the symptoms of your insect bite infection:

  • Apply an antihistamine cream to relieve itching (but do not use antihistamine cream if you had caterpillar hairs on your skin)
  • Take paracetamol and ibuprofen if you have pain
  • Apply a hydrocortisone cream to reduce swelling
  • Apply something cool to reduce swelling
  • Keep the infected area raised if you can

In some cases, prescription antibiotics or other medications may be necessary to treat an infected bite effectively. 

If you suspect you have an infected insect bite, a PillSorted pharmacist can provide you with advice and treatment online, without the need to visit your GP. This is a free service as part of the NHS UK’s Pharmacy First program.

PillSorted provides advice & NHS-funded treatment for infected insect bites. Book an appointment now if you would like a consultation.


What is Pharmacy First?

Pharmacy First is NHS funded program that allows pharmacists to supply prescription-only medicines, including antibiotics and antivirals if clinically appropriate, to treat several common health conditions, including infected insect bites, without the need to visit a GP.

How long does it take for an infected insect bite to heal?

Healing time for an infection depends on its severity. Mild cases should resolve in about 48 hours with the proper treatment. More serious cases may take a week.

Is bicarbonate of soda a good treatment for insect bites?

Home remedies, such as vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, are unlikely to help.


NHS Pharmacy First Service

NHS Pharmacy First Service

PillSorted provides advice & NHS-funded treatment for Infected Insect Bites.

NHS PillSorted