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Hand and arm swollen from what could be insect bites?

ZeromusZeromus Registered User regular
edited October 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Yesterday I woke up with what seemed to be several bites along my hand. As the day progressed, the area became very inflamed, and it's now much worse than it was before. I can't close my hand into a fist, and it's very painful. I've also noticed since waking up this morning that there's another region farther down on my arm that's similarly swollen.

I've tried taking antihistamines, tried using an ointment that was supposed to help, and nothing seems to be working. I'm going to go to the student health center as soon as I'm done with classes today (assuming I can make it until then, because Jesus this hurts), but I was wondering if you guys have any advice on what else I should be doing, and what I might be reacting to. Should I clean all of my bedding? How do I rid myself of whatever insect might be doing this to me? Any other tips?

Thanks!

Zeromus on
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Posts

  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2008
    Go to the health centre first.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Yeah if it's so swollen you can't close your hand there's no reason not to go.

    Anyway you can take a picture of the bites?

  • ZeromusZeromus Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Hm, I was really trying not to miss any classes, but I guess this is probably something I need looked into ASAP...

    Edit: Shit, walk-in hours don't start until 10 a.m., and I have class from 9:30 - 12:30. D:

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  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2008
    Yeah, I mean, if you leave it to the point where it needs to get amputated you are going to miss a whole bunch more classes.

  • ZeromusZeromus Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Oh God

    D: D: D:

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Yeah because it could be something like a hornet bite you're allergic too, or a spider bite which could become necrotic.

    Don't go to class, go to the clinic.

  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2008
    In this case, Mr. T. has the wrong advice.

    Emphatically do not stay in school.

    Also avoid milk, maybe you are allergic to it.

  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2008
    Make sure to contact your professor about what's going on. They'll most likely understand that you'd rather not show up to class with a Hulk arm.

  • ZeromusZeromus Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Okay, I went to the medical center and am now on some anti-biotics that will hopefully help things out. Now I'm concerned about cleaning my bedding and making absolutely sure that this doesn't happen again (the doctor seems pretty convinced that this is from a bug bite that got infected somehow). Any advice in this matter? I got some bed bug spray... not sure if that's what I'm dealing with, but couldn't hurt in any case.

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  • PulvaanPulvaan Registered User
    edited October 2008
    if your sheets are white, bleach that stuff.

    Clean everything as much as possible. Vacuum everything thoroughly, dump bag in a plastic bag and throw away.

    Then get real antiseptic wipes and wipe down everything.

    Alternatively, mix a bit of bleach (1/3 cup) in with some warm water (gallon) and a bit of baking soda (couple of tablespoons) and wipe everything down, including door knobs and anything that you could have touched/have touched. Just be careful that you don't put it on anything that can be discolored.

    This is the best way to disinfect everything.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Zeromus wrote: »
    Okay, I went to the medical center and am now on some anti-biotics that will hopefully help things out. Now I'm concerned about cleaning my bedding and making absolutely sure that this doesn't happen again (the doctor seems pretty convinced that this is from a bug bite that got infected somehow). Any advice in this matter? I got some bed bug spray... not sure if that's what I'm dealing with, but couldn't hurt in any case.

    I don't think I've ever seen a bug bite get infected. I'd find a second doctor and get a second opinion. It doesn't seem to be standard infection symptoms. Unless the bite sites are really itchy and red I don't see why the doctor would come to that conclusion.

    Are they really itchy and red?

  • DardraxDardrax Registered User
    edited October 2008
    bowen wrote: »
    Zeromus wrote: »
    Okay, I went to the medical center and am now on some anti-biotics that will hopefully help things out. Now I'm concerned about cleaning my bedding and making absolutely sure that this doesn't happen again (the doctor seems pretty convinced that this is from a bug bite that got infected somehow). Any advice in this matter? I got some bed bug spray... not sure if that's what I'm dealing with, but couldn't hurt in any case.

    I don't think I've ever seen a bug bite get infected. I'd find a second doctor and get a second opinion. It doesn't seem to be standard infection symptoms. Unless the bite sites are really itchy and red I don't see why the doctor would come to that conclusion.

    Are they really itchy and red?

    Bug bites can be infected by "Staphylococcus aureus" when scratching them. This happened to me and the anti-biotics cleared it up within a couple of weeks.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Usually indicated by huge gaping holes or spider bite type marks. I'd still like a little more info regarding this. What exactly his doctor said, what the doctor thinks he has, a photo of the marks if possible. He never said it was particularly itchy or red or something indicative of infection. As you're no doubt aware, you damn well know when you have SA. He said it was painful and swollen (not at the site of the bites though -- at least he didn't indicate that) which would lead me to believe it's not a bacterial infection. That's why, in this case, I'd check with a second doctor.

    Although the multiple spots do kind of coincide with SA specifically.

    Zeromus, did the doctor tell you what kind of infection you had?

  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    This reminds me, I had a post about "When should you go to the ER, when should you go to urgent care, when should you schedule a doctor's appointment, and when should you sack up and go to work?" I never finished it so I could request it be made into a sticky. I should totally get on that.

  • DardraxDardrax Registered User
    edited October 2008
    SA can cause Cellulitis, which if what I think he has. It causes swelling in the general area of a predisposing condition including bug bites. Do you have red streaks?

  • PulvaanPulvaan Registered User
    edited October 2008
    it seems like a really fast progression if it is SA. usually SA takes a couple of days to weeks to show this way.

    Is it red/streaking up your arm?
    Warm to the touch/warmer than usual/warmer than the rest of your body?
    is it painful?

    If the skin breaks/starts oozing, then it is pointing to SA.

    in any case, go to the doctor.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    The short amount of time is why I was kind of skeptical of the infection diagnosis. Lest we want a necrotic spider bite or something to get treated like MRSA. Or vice versa. Second opinions are always good about stuff like this.

  • ZeromusZeromus Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Well, I'm not really sure if we ever came to a decisive conclusion about just what this is, but the antibiotics have almost completely cleared it all up at this point, so I'm not really concerned about it. Now that they aren't so swollen anymore, it's pretty easy to see where I got bitten, and they look like your average mosquito bites to me. Strange, certainly, but the antibiotics seem to have done their job, in any case.

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