Antibiotics for Insect Bites


I am about to go on holiday for the first time since my treatment (lumpectomy, 4 nodes removed and RT). I have been given antibiotics to take in the event of an insect bite on my affected arm. Annoyingly the bugs like me and I did have 2 bouts of cellulitis last year pre diagnosis although both were bites in UK (one of which was in surgery arm). My question is do I need to take antibiotics if I get bitten on that arm at all or is it a close observation and I only take if it starts to look like the beginning of an infection? I have got some 50% deet repellant and will try and keep my arms covered in evenings so just hoping for best! Anyone help me with not unduly fretting about this too?! Anyone get bitten and it not lead to lymphedema?! Xx

Hi blue80, last yead i got bitten by a horsefly and it swelled up on my affected arm. Although it wasnt infected the Gp put me on antibiotics right away (didnt even nees to see me). I was relieved that it didnt result in lymphodema as this is sonething i worry about. It is a great plan to have some antibiotics to take with you. Good luck, julie xx

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Hello blue80

Thank you for posting.

As @NorthernJay says it is a great plan to have antibiotics to take with you. Using a good insect repellent with 50% deet is also sensible. If you do get any insect bites, we would suggest you wash them well, apply antiseptic cream and then keep them covered with a dressing or plaster.

Signs of infection include, redness, heat, swelling and pain. If you are experiencing these, you could take the antibiotics as a precautionary measure.

You might find it helpful to look at these suggestions of other things you can do to protect your skin whilst you are holiday.

We have a booklet called Reducing the Risk of Lymphoedema which you may want to have a look at too.

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