25 Bites, Rashes, and Burns You Need to Watch Out for This Summer from 25 Bites, Rashes, and Burns You Need to Watch Out for This Summer
25 Bites, Rashes, and Burns You Need to Watch Out for This Summer
Once you’re in the heart of summer, you’re probably spending far more time outside. You’re sitting on the grass, wading through the ocean, and taking the scenic route on your walk home. Why not? The weather is gorgeous and the sun can be good for you.
However, there are some dangers of being outdoors you should be wary of. While a little sun can provide vitamin D and a boost to your mood, too much sun can be costly. And lurking in the fresh-cut grass and beautiful blooms of flowers are insects and other pests, waiting to bite.
You know what a mosquito bite looks like, sure. But what about the other mysterious bites and rashes that pop up as summer goes on? You might not be as informed about certain dangerous types of fleas or about which spider bites warrant your concern.
The sooner you catch an infestation or an invader in your home, the better. If something dangerous is crawling around your yard, you want to spot the warning signs so you can keep yourself and your family safe from harm. If you see any of these 25 bites, rashes, or burn, watch out.
Bed Bug Bites
If you have bed bugs, you want to catch those suckers as early as possible. An infestation can grow quickly, resulting in more bug bites and a more intensive treatment. Don’t let these critters keep you up at night — as soon as you see these telltale bites, get an inspector to your place. Bed bug bites can be extremely itchy and look like small rashes with red, swollen areas with dark centers. The bites often occur in a line and you’ll notice you experience more bites every day after sleeping in your bed.
A bee, unlike a wasp, can only sting you once. So unless you’re caught in a swarm, a bee sting only occurs at one spot on your body. You’ll probably feel the sting as it happens. Bee stings appear swollen and can be red, often with a small white dot at the center where the stinger punctured skin. Allergies to bees are fairly common, so if you are stung, be on the lookout for symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Black Widow Spider Bites
A spider bite from a black widow spider is considered a medical emergency and should be treated as such. Head to the hospital or another medical care provider right away. The spider is black, shiny, and round in appearance with a characteristic red mark on its body. The bites can cause muscle spasms and other serious reactions. The bite appears red with a distinct white center.
Brown Recluse Spider Bites
The brown recluse spider is named for its brown coloring and tendency to hide in small, dark spaces. The spider is native to the southern and south-central regions of the United States and is generally considered one of the most dangerous spiders to get bitten by. The bites can be severely painful and, though it’s rare to experience these side effects, have been known to cause body aches, nausea, fever, and kidney failure.
Chiggers, sometimes called red bugs, are tiny — under a 60th of an inch — and often go unnoticed until they bite. They like to cling to tall weeds and grass, attaching to the skin as you walk by. The catch is that when a chigger bites, you won’t feel a thing. It’s only after, when the chigger falls off the skin, that the bites leave small red marks that look similar to pimples or blisters. These marks can be insanely itchy and difficult to ignore.
Chigoe Flea Bites
Also known as sand fleas or beach fleas, chigoe fleas are most commonly found on beaches in the Caribbean, South America, and Africa and often bite people who are not wearing shoes in the sand. Their bites can cause a disease called Tungiasis, in which the infected person develops lesions, usually the size of a pea, that are intensely painful and irritating. The lesions appear white in color with a black colored pit. If, while traveling on your beach vacation, you think you may have been infected, seek medical attention immediately.
Mosquito bites seem like no big deal, but if you’re unlucky enough to get bitten by a mosquito infected with the dengue virus, you’re in for a bad time. Approximately 390,000 cases of dengue fever occur each year, usually in areas of the world with a tropical climate. Symptoms include fever, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, fatigue, nausea, severe joint and muscle pain, vomiting, and a skin rash two to five days after being bitten.
Fire Ant Bites
Regular ant bites are annoying, but fire ant bites are actually dangerous. These tiny red or black ants leave a nasty bite that causes burning, itching, and small red swollen spots on the skin. Some people experience severe allergic reactions to the bites that could be deadly — if fire ants invade your picnic, head to the doctor right away.
One of the biggest hazards of summer is simply the heat itself. If you’re not careful, severe heat conditions can cause dehydration, heat stroke, and other symptoms. One of the more benign reactions to the heat, however, is a rash. Heat rash occurs when sweat glands are blocked and cannot release sweat to cool off the skin. This causes tiny red, itchy bumps that disappear once you find cool shelter from the sweltering heat.
‘Kissing Bug’ Bites
Kissing bugs get their name because they like to suck on human blood around the mouth. The bites themselves aren’t usually painful, but the insects are often infected with a parasite that causes Chagas disease, which can cause serious symptoms in humans such as fever, nausea, and vomiting. Kissing bugs are a bit larger than a penny with a black body lined in characteristic orange or red stripes. If you find a kissing bug, don’t touch it! Place it in a small plastic bag or other container and contact an exterminator to investigate.
Lice most often plague preschools and children, but you can get lice at any age. These bugs lay eggs called nits, which can be visible but tend to blend in with hair and scalp. However, the bugs themselves are slightly larger. Lice bite the scalp and cause severe itching. A full scalp treatment is needed to eradicate the infestation.
Lyme disease is spread by ticks and typically causes fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC is especially concerned about Lyme disease in recent years, as there has been an uptick in cases in the United States. The rash, which occurs in 70 to 80 percent of cases, begins at the site of the tick bite and spreads. Though it’s rarely painful, it does expand as time goes on and the infection worsens.
You probably won’t be able to avoid getting at least one mosquito bite this summer. Mosquitos are bloodsucking nuisances that adore the heat and humidity. You might not feel the bug bite you, but you’ll likely feel an itchy, swollen mark afterwards. To protect yourself against mosquitos, avoid eating these foods that attract them and wear bug spray to repel them.
Scabies are highly contagious, so if you suspect you have them, isolate yourself from others as much as possible and seek medical attention immediately. Scabies is caused by a mite called the itch mite, which burrows under the skin and leads to an itchy, spreading rash.
Scorpions are most common in hot climates, but can occur anywhere. Their sting causes a sudden and intense sting, followed by extreme pain and redness. There are over 1,500 species of scorpion in the world and the symptoms of a sting vary from species to species. If you are stung, seek medical care so you can ensure dangerous symptoms won’t develop.
Sunburns are always something to be concerned about, since they can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. But in some severe cases, sunburns can blister and scar. In extreme cases, a sunburn could be enough to warrant a trip to the ER.
Small Spider Bites
Spider bites can happen often in the summer, as seasonal changes can prompt some bugs to crawl inside. Most spider bites are benign and appear as raised, red bumps on the skin. These bites can be painful, itchy, and swollen, depending on how severe your reaction.
Just because sunburns are common doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous! Make sure you are applying sunscreen often enough this summer, even on cloudy days. UV rays can affect you even when you aren’t feeling the impact of direct sunlight.
Ticks are fairly common in the United States and people are especially at risk for tick bites during the summer. The bugs vary in size, but are usually dark brown or reddish in color. Once the tick attaches, a person will generally experience redness, swelling, and irritation as the bug starts to draw blood. Some ticks carry disease, so tick bites should be monitored for other more severe side effects.
Wolf spider bites, while not deadly, can be uncomfortable. The bite typically looks like any other spider bite — red, itchy, and swollen. The spiders themselves look more horrifying than they are. They’re large, hairy, and have large, shiny eyes. They typically hide out in dark, damp spaces such as basements or closet corners.
Yellow Jacket Stings
Yellow jackets are commonly mistaken for bees since they are so similar in color. However, unlike bees, yellow jackets do not have any hair. They don’t typically sting people unless they perceive a threat. When they do sting, though, it can be incredibly painful. If the stinger sticks in the victim’s skin, it will need to be removed.
Zika virus is relatively rare, but it’s spread primarily through the bites of certain species of mosquito. Symptoms include fever, rash, headache, joint pain, red eyes, and muscle pain. The virus can sometimes go unnoticed or untreated because people do not exhibit immediate severe symptoms, which can cause the virus to spread either through sexual contact or from a mother to her child.