It must have been a mosquito or similar and now I've got a big, itchy swelling on the back of my arm, above my elbow, but it's not hard like normal mozzie bites. I've tried taking an anti-histamine and I've tried an ice pack to no avail. Any more ideas?
yes really! it was a few years back. I got two bites and my leg from the knee down swelled so much it was - literally - twice the width of my other leg. It was very sore and hot - basically I could hardly walk after 24 hrs! The GP said I'd got infected bits and gave me antibiotics whoch sorted it out. I had scars from the bites for a few years though.
Soem insect bites can give very nasty viruses so don't delay - see the doc.
Did the bite happen today? If yes, it won't be an infection but histamine release in response to the bite that is causing the swelling. Anti-histamines are the right approach but some are more effective than others. Piriton is the best for this sort of thing but do be careful as it can cause drowsiness. The other thing that helps is keeping the arm elevated as much as possible e.g. rest the arm on the back of the sofa so that it is as high as possible.
If the bite did not happen today then the others are right and it could be infection. You do need to see a GP - don't leave it as untreated skin infections can be very nasty.
Last summer I copped for some very nasty, swollen, itchy midgy bites and when I visited the Pharmacist, he gave me a mild steroid cream (oral antihistamines & antihistamine creams seemed to have little effect at the time) - I was a bit at the time, but gave it a go and they were much better in less than 24 hours. Might be worth a try?
Seriously, take a pen and draw round the perimiter of the current hot/red/swollen bit. If it is any bigger by later - say lunchtime from now - then you may well have cellulitis that is spreading and you will prob need antibiotics (think its Flucloxacillin they give for that) for it.