A 38-year-old member asked:
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child with fire-ant bites. what's the best treatment?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Patrick Hieber
50 years experience Pediatrics
Fire ant bites: Oral antihistamine such as Diphenhydramine (benadryl) for relief of itching and prevention of secondary infection secondary to deep scratching by child. The "white heads" on the ant bites are not a sign of infection but rather a sterile material caused by formic acid injected during the bite. Topical mupurocin (bactroban) at first signs of true secondary infection is helpful.
Answered on Oct 24, 2017
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3 thanks
Dr. Heidi Fowler
25 years experience Psychiatry
Fire Ants don't : Actually bite. Pinchers grip skin while stinging injects solenopsin - an alkaloid venom. Apply a 1 to 1 mix of baking soda & water to decrease pain & reaction. Or try paste of water & meat tenderizer or Benadryl (diphenhydramine) for itching. Do not squeeze or disrupt the lesions that develop. About 15% of people are allergic to fire ant stings. For anaphylactic rxn call 911 for immediate treatment.
Answered on Feb 25, 2018

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