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How long does an insect bite last?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

Generally, most insect bites last for a few days to a week. However, factors such as scratching or allergic reactions can influence how long your bite lasts. 

If you’re unsure about your bite or if it’s causing significant discomfort, you should consult a pharmacist who’ll be able to properly diagnose, offer treatment recommendations and in cases of infection, prescribe appropriate medication.

How to treat bug bites?

Treating bug bites effectively can help alleviate discomfort and promote faster healing.

Here are some simple steps to follow:

  • Avoid scratching the bite, which can break the skin and lead to infection
  • Wash the affected area with mild soap and water to remove any dirt or bacteria that could lead to infection
  • Apply a cold compress or ice pack wrapped in a cloth to the bite to reduce swelling and soothe the skin


For more information, you can visit our blog on treating insect bites

Frequently asked questions about insect bites

How long does a mosquito bite itch last?

Mosquito bite itch typically subsides within 2 to 3 days. Apply calamine lotion or ice to alleviate discomfort.

How many days does a bee sting swelling last?

Bee sting swelling usually lasts 1 to 3 days. Apply a cold compress and take antihistamines to reduce swelling.

What's the typical duration of a tick bite rash?

A tick bite rash can last from a few days to weeks. Tick bites can cause Lyme disease, you should monitor for any signs of infection and consult your pharmacist.

A man's leg with multiple infected mosquito bites

Do you have an infected bite?

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What is Pharmacy First?

Pharmacy First is a new NHS-funded scheme that helps you quickly get the advice & treatment you need from a pharmacy, without needing to see a GP.

The conditions covered by Pharmacy First are:

Video consultations & advice are free of charge. If you pay for prescriptions you will be charged the prescription rate of £9.65 per prescription item.