How to Treat a Centipede Bite

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Centipedes have a painful bite, but the good news is that the pain is often the worst of it. Centipede bites are not toxic enough to be deadly. If you are bitten by a centipede, here are steps that you can take to treat the bite.

  • Remain calm and do not panic. The bite will hurt and may cause swelling, but is treatable.

  • Wash the area with soap and water.

  • Apply a hot compress to reduce the pain. Or, if you have swelling, use an ice pack or cold compress to help relieve it.

  • Try taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen to counter the pain.

  • Treat the itch of a healing centipede bite with the application of a hydrocortisone cream.

  • Watch the area of the bite for any infection. While an antibiotic is not a first step for treating a centipede bite, it is important if an infection develops. Watch for this closely.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have been bitten by a centipede, make sure that your tetanus shot is up to date.
  • In the case of the worst bites that develop infections, necrosis (tissue death) is possible, but is localized and will heal on its own.
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