Treating an insect bite with pus is a bit more involved than treating an insect bite that has not developed an infection, though it can often be done at home. The pus should be cleaned from the bite as thoroughly as possible, and an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment should be applied to the wound. The bite should then be covered with a bandage in order to keep it clean. Patients can take pain medication when treating an infected bite, though a healthcare professional should be seen if the infection does not improve within a couple of days.
The presence of pus in an insect bite is a sign that the bite has developed an infection. Some insects carry bacteria in their saliva, which can cause a bacterial infection to form in a bite, though it is also possible for bacteria to enter the bite wound through the broken skin. Either way, treatment generally involves both treating the bite symptoms and the infection.
In order to clear up a minor infection in an insect bite, the wound should first be thoroughly cleaned. A sterile cotton ball or pad can be used to wipe away any pus and blood. A cleanser, such as soap and water, iodine, or rubbing alcohol can then be rubbed gently onto the wound. Once the bite has been cleaned, an antibiotic ointment can be applied to the area, followed by a bandage placed so that additional contaminants cannot enter the wound. Antibiotic ointment should be reapplied as prescribed and the bandage changed frequently in order to keep pus from accumulating around the injury.
If an insect bite is painful or itchy, over-the-counter medications can be used to treat these conditions as well. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are commonly used to treat the pain of a bite, while an antihistamine may be taken to stop it from itching. Topical antihistamines should not be used on an insect bite with pus.
A patient may need to see a healthcare professional to properly treat an infected insect bite. An infection that spreads or that does not begin to improve within 48 hours of treatment needs to be evaluated because the patient may require oral antibiotics. Furthermore, a patient should consult with a medical professional for any bug bite that seems abnormal as there are many poisonous insects that can cause serious injury or illness.