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What Are the Signs of an Allergic Reaction to Ant Bites?

A. Pasbjerg
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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There are a number of symptoms that can occur when one has an allergic reaction to ant bites, some of them relatively mild and others more severe and possibly dangerous. Those who are allergic will typically have a local reaction around the bite almost immediately, which can involve pain, itching, and blistering. Some people may also later develop an itchy rash or hives on other parts of their body, and they may feel congested, feverish, and achy. For a small group of people, ant bites can lead to much more significant issues, including difficulty breathing, a decrease in blood pressure, and swelling in the mouth and throat.

Typically, the first signs of an allergic reaction to ant bites occur at or around the site of the bite. The bite is often painful, and in the case of a fire ant bite, there may be a burning sensation as well. Often, the skin around it will become red, swollen, and itchy. Some people may also notice a localized rash or blisters that come up within several hours and last anywhere from a few days to two weeks.

Those having an allergic reaction to ant bites may also notice symptoms beyond the bite location, particularly if they have been bitten multiple times. A rash or hives can spread beyond the area of the bite and become generalized to other parts of the body. In some, the allergic reaction may cause nasal symptoms like congestion, sneezing, and a runny nose. Others may feel generally ill, with symptoms including a fever, body aches, or swollen glands.

In rare cases, an allergic reaction to ant bites may lead to anaphylactic shock, an extreme condition that has the potential to be fatal. Signs of this type of reaction will normally come on almost immediately after a bite, and can include dizziness, trouble speaking, or fainting. There may be hives or a rash over much of the body, swelling around the face and throat, and nausea or vomiting. People with this type of severe allergy may also have difficulty breathing, chest pain, and an extreme drop in blood pressure. If these types of symptoms occur after an ant bite, it is critical for the person to seek medical attention immediately, as anaphylaxis can lead to a coma or even death if not treated.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
A. Pasbjerg
By A. Pasbjerg
Andrea Pasbjerg, a The Health Board contributor, holds an MBA from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Her business background helps her to create content that is both informative and practical, providing readers with valuable insights and strategies for success in the business world.
Discussion Comments
By Markerrag — On Mar 11, 2014

Anaphylactic shock seems much more common with bee stings. Didn't know it was a risk with a ant bite allergy. There's yet another reason people ought to get tested for allergies on a somewhat regular basis -- if you don't know you are allergic for it, you can't take the necessary precautions.

A. Pasbjerg
A. Pasbjerg
Andrea Pasbjerg, a The Health Board contributor, holds an MBA from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Her business background helps her to create content that is both informative and practical, providing readers with valuable insights and strategies for success in the business world.
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