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Ask Dr. Yogindra Vasavada Your Own Question
Dr. Yogindra Vasavada
Dr. Yogindra Vasavada, Pediatrician
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 3095
Experience:  M.D.(ped) passed at first attempt, in practice continuously for last 37 years. Certi. in Comp
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My son has terrible reactions to bug bites (I think mosquitos

Customer Question

My son has terrible reactions to bug bites (I think mosquitos but not sure). Our doctor told us to try Calmoseptine ointment on it; however, it does not seem to work. He is 15 months old and approximately 28lbs. Is it safe to try a little OTC Benadryl or does the risk outweigh the benefit? I know the labels don't advise it.
Yesterday his ear was almost swollen shut (bite on his ear lobe) and today his eye is swollen with a huge lump over his eyebrow (cant see a bite right now). Both areas are very red and warm to touch. He has no fever and is acting totally fine. It just looks so bad.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Pediatrics
Expert:  Dr Mike - NYPediatrics replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I am Dr Celotti and I will try to help you with this very common spring/summer problem. Children have whats called an 'exaggerated local reaction' to insect bites and can have a very large inflamed area around each bite. Insect bites tend to flare up within 24hrs and look much better about 2 days after that. They are not caused by a histamine reaction, so oral Benadryl usually doesn't do much for the reaction. It does have a sedating property, so it can be useful at night to help sleep and stop them from digging at them too much. A better choice would be over the counter 1% hydrocortisone cream- apply a thin layer twice a day, being careful not to get it into his eyes. That along with cold compresses will help. One important situation to watch for is an infection however. It can be difficult to tell them apart at first. Some signs that he should be seen right away are fevers, complaints of pain, or not acting well. If it is just an insect bite reaction, he will be feeling fine and playing, and likely rubbing or itching the area. If its an infection he will not want to touch it. Infections tend to take 2-3 days to flare up and get worse as time goes on, where simple reactions will be getting better by day 3. Lastly, insect prevention is important. Children can use up to 30% DEET which is very effective. Keeping non-bright colored clothing on and avoiding playing outside at dusk will help as well. I hope this helps!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Very helpful! Thank you!

Expert:  Dr Mike - NYPediatrics replied 2 years ago.
Anytime; good luck!