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Suggest treatment for a pus-filled lump on the hand after an insect bite

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Posted on Tue, 19 Jul 2016
Question: Got bit/stung by 2-3 horseflies yesterday on my hand very swollen, itchy hot and seeping a little very painful
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Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (52 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
antihistamine and painkillers

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

horsefly bite can be very painful and cause severe local reaction. Infection is possible. Basic treatment with an antihistamine should be enough for most cases. If the pain is severe then paracetamol (or higher potency analgesics like low dose opioids or NSAID) can be used if not contraindicated for any reason. Paracetamol (acetaminophen) 500-1000mg every 6 hours should be enough. Naproxen 500mg twice daily is a more potent alternative (but with more side effects as with all NSAID). Paracetamol with low dose codeine is a safer alternative compared to a NSAID.

Signs of potential infection include: worsening of swelling and pain, presence of pus, worsening of redness and local warmth, fever. Your photo is not very suggestive of infection but looking at a photo is not a great way to assess it. If you believe your hand got very worse (or if it gets worse the next few days) then a visit to your primary care physician would be recommended.

I hope it helps!
Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (7 minutes later)
Hand is twice the size of the other one should have sent pics of both, just some pus out of one of the bites

sent more pics

sent so you can see both hands

doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (5 hours later)
Brief Answer:
pus means infection

Detailed Answer:
Regardless of the pictures (the last one shows significant swelling) the presence of pus means infection. Infection requires drainage if there's a lot of pus (an abscess that is) and antibiotics. If there's not much pus antibiotics alone should suffice. Infections require medical attention. You'd better visit your doctor as soon as possible.

You can still use the rest of the advice in my previous answer regarding pain and local allergic reaction.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3759 Questions

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Suggest treatment for a pus-filled lump on the hand after an insect bite

Brief Answer: antihistamine and painkillers Detailed Answer: Hello, horsefly bite can be very painful and cause severe local reaction. Infection is possible. Basic treatment with an antihistamine should be enough for most cases. If the pain is severe then paracetamol (or higher potency analgesics like low dose opioids or NSAID) can be used if not contraindicated for any reason. Paracetamol (acetaminophen) 500-1000mg every 6 hours should be enough. Naproxen 500mg twice daily is a more potent alternative (but with more side effects as with all NSAID). Paracetamol with low dose codeine is a safer alternative compared to a NSAID. Signs of potential infection include: worsening of swelling and pain, presence of pus, worsening of redness and local warmth, fever. Your photo is not very suggestive of infection but looking at a photo is not a great way to assess it. If you believe your hand got very worse (or if it gets worse the next few days) then a visit to your primary care physician would be recommended. I hope it helps! Kind Regards!