Insect bite allergy

Insect bite allergy

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Credit: DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: MODEL RELEASED. Insect bite allergy. Swollen arm of a 60-year-old woman, caused by an allergic reaction to a horsefly bite (not seen). The skin has become red, inflamed and itchy. Treatment for the allergic response is with antihistamine drugs. Soothing creams, such as calamine, may also reduce the itching. The bite from a horsefly can be extremely painful as they have serrated mandibles which they use to rip or slice flesh apart. This causes the blood to seep out, which allows the horsefly to lick it up.

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