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Itchy bug bites on body, redness, hard. Is my body reacting to bites or is it something else?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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over the course of three days, i have had what i think are very itchy bug bites appear on parts of my body -- about 7 in all. they start out looking like mosquito bites, but become larger (some the size of a dime, but the worst -- which is on my hand near the wrist -- the size of a quarter and very swollen). they are red but kind of started with a white center. they are pretty hard. its hard to tell but i think i see a tiny puncture XXXXXXX in the center which makes me think they aren't a rash, but are from being bitten. the first group of three bites on arm and ankle appeared about 10 days after a camping trip. they have mostly subsided now. the 2nd set of three bites on face, thigh and hand appeared yesterday about three days after the first set (there was another camping trip in between the two occurrences). i put on tons of bug spray on both trips and didn't notice too many bugs although there were no doubt some around. are these just big mosquito bites my body is hyper-reacting to, or something else? could it be poison ivy or a rash from something i've touched? what can i do to make the swelling and itchiness go down? i attached a photo of the biggest one.
Posted Mon, 17 Sep 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 6 hours later
Thanks for writing in.
This does seem to be a insect bite to which you are reacting excessively. Its unlikely to be poison ivy or something you've touched as they cant be in multiple places at the same time.
The following measures will help relieve it:
a. You can take Fexofenadine 180 mg one tablet once a day for a week
b. Apply calamine lotion on the bumps. This will help with the itching
c. Keep the area, clean, dry and well moisturized. Dryness can make these bumps worse.

I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions
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