Bug Bites & Allergic Reactions: Benadryl To The Rescue!

In our search for the perfect piece of property to build our home on, we spent a good deal of time in the woods — traipsing through thick brush and weeds.

This means… we’ve seen a good deal of ticks, received more than our share of chigger bites, and walked through far too many thick spider webs — with the spiders still in them! (It seems like all the spiders in the forest build their webs between dangling tree limbs — right about at shoulder level.)

Unfortunately, this has resulted in numerous bug bites on our arms and legs, ticks that have managed to work their way up and under our clothes, and even a fairly serious spider bite where Jim’s entire right arm got tight (the muscle was constricted) and he ran a high fever.

One thing we’ve learned:

Keep Benadryl on hand at all times!

Allergic reactions (to things like pollen, insect bites & stings) prompt mast cells (defenders of the body) to release a chemical called histamine that sets in motion a cascade of symptoms to repel the invaders.

Benadryl is an antihistamine containing diphenhydramine.

Antihistamines reduce the allergy symptoms by blocking the action of the histamine.

The only downside: antihistamines can dramatically affect your level of alertness.

Most of the time, they produce symptoms of drowsiness. (This was certainly the case with Jim. En route from one wooded location to another, we had to pull over so he could take a quick nap in the car the day he got that spider bite.)

We haven’t tried this yet, but I see that there’s also a Benadryl spray that will help stop the itch on contact (…see the customer reviews).

Kids & Allergic Reactions

Benadryl could also be a lifesaver in the event that your child is stung by a bee or a wasp.

Did you know?… As a rule, you won’t know if a child is allergic to insects until he or she is actually stung by one!

Case in point: some friends of ours recently took their child out for a hike around the lake — when they noticed the child was holding his arm and complaining that it hurt. Then he grabbed his stomach and said his stomach hurt. At which point, he went white as a sheet and passed out!

This was an allergic reaction to a wasp sting. They called an ambulance, and when he came to, he was given Benadryl — and he was fine.

Now that they know he is allergic to stings, they always keep Benadryl with them at all times.

Benadryl may also be helpful with some food allergies.

More about life threatening allergies and how to always be prepared.

Dogs & Allergic Reactions

Benadryl can also benefit pets — such was the case with our dog, Destin. Out of the blue one day, he walked over to us with a swollen lower lip.

The swelling appeared to be quickly spreading to his upper lip on the same side, and down his jaw under his chin.

We called the vet for advice. They said to give him Benadryl. (They told us the appropriate dosage for his weight.) We did this every 6 hours for 2 days — the swelling very gradually went down.

Apparently he was bitten by a spider (quite common in our backyard) or a wasp (also frequently seen flying around our yard).

It’s important to note here, that — aside from some major drooling out of that side of his mouth — our dog wasn’t showing any other signs of discomfort or behavioral issues. If he were, we would’ve rushed him directly to the vet. Instead, we were able to monitor his breathing, appetite, activity levels, bowel movements, and overall comfort level from our home.

How To Remove A Tick – plus pictures & info about the ticks that carry Lyme Disease.

Use Permethrin To Prevent Tick Bites – it’s what the U.S. Military uses!

Our Top 10 Camping Tips – recommendations from a family of frequent campers.

More About Allergic Reactions & Benadryl

In addition to the links I’ve included above, here is more information about allergic reaction symptoms:

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).

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