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Insect bites and stings are puncture wounds caused by insects. Some insects may sting you as a defence by injecting venom into your skin.
Symptoms of insect bites and stings
An insect bite or sting often causes a small lump to develop, which is usually very itchy. A small hole, or the sting itself, may also be visible, along with a weal.
Treating insect bites and stings
Most insect bites and stings cause small local reactions where the symptoms can be easily treated. If your symptoms are severe, see your GP.
Complications of insect bites and stings
A number of complications can develop after you are bitten or stung by an insect, including secondary infection, Lyme disease, West Nile virus and malaria.
Preventing insect bites and stings
Taking precautions to avoid being bitten or stung by an insect is particularly important if you've had a bad reaction to a bite or sting in the past.