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Centipede sting/bite
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Centipede sting/bite

Hello, I'm living in the Caribbean and a week ago today I was received a bite/sting from a rather large centipede in my sleep. I took advil and benadryl for the pain and itching and went to the clinic where I was given intravenous cortisone and was told to keep the wound clean and I should be fine. For three days I put OTC antibiotic cream on it and it looked fine, no swelling, started getting smaller and didn't really bother me.

Last night it started to itch. This morning it looked a little raised and had a red area surrounding it. I went to the clinic where they said that it wasn't an infection: infection would start after two days or so, would involve swelling of the whole arm, and would have pus coming out from it. The doctor said that it shouldn't concern me and he couldn't explain it so they sent me home. I'm home now and I have a slight temperature of 99.1 F and am worried.

Can centipede or other bug bits have this kind of reaction a week later? Should I be worried that it's something serious, the doctor didn't seem to think that I had any kind of infection.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, maybe it's a Cellulitis it's a common infection of the skin and the soft tissues underneath the skin. It occurs when bacteria invade broken or normal skin and start to spread under the skin and into the soft tissues. This results in infection and inflammation. Inflammation is a process in which the body reacts to the bacteria. Inflammation may cause swelling, redness, pain, and/or warmth. And 99.1 his not really a fever, I had a Cellulitis from a burn and it happen about 1 month after the burn, if you have open skin its possible it's an infection and I didnt have any pus with my cellulitis and seen many person with that and no pus for them too. So if I were you I would go see the doc again if the redness his spreding and have a fever more than 100.5, so I hope your going to feel better soon :)
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm aware of cellulitis, but my concern is that it itches like crazy right now so I'm thinking it had something to do with the initial envenomation. My temp has been normal now (I've also taken some advil so that might be making it normal?). It's just disheartening that the docs here don't know what could cause such a late reaction like this. I'm hoping I can fall asleep tonight and it's a little better in the morning.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, maybe take something for the itchiness like Benadryl something like that, if you can't really sleep because of that just go see you doc again :S
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your help Maya. I've been taking benadryl for the itching and its been helping. Went back to see the doctor as the redness did spread (from about 2 cm to about 4 cm). He told me that it is not abnormal for a rash to return if the initial site was irritated. I don't think I ever scratched it (maybe at night) and he didn't sound too convincing. He also told me that it doesn't seem to be infected, which I agree with. He told me to return on Monday to get another look. I'm just really praying that the size goes down again by tomorrow because otherwise it doesn't seem like the doctors here know what to do next.
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Avatar_m_tn
For anyone in the future who's interested about these kinds of bites, I was lucky enough to have an angel of dermatologist come to my apartment tonight (I've never had a house call before, it was wonderful). She explained that while the late reaction is abnormal, it is healing fine and it was probably due to scratching the site while sleeping. Also, I questioned her about a darker patch within the red inflammation which I thought might be necrosis (area of dead cells that are easily infected). She explained that it is just a sign of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

In summation, don't get bit by a centipede, it hurts like crazy and can take a while to heal. From the 5 or so doctors I spoke with there isn't a major concern for primary infections, but secondary infections (like cellulitis) can happen so keep the area clean for at least 3 days.

Thanks again to Maya for her help!
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1355118_tn?1298568479
Hi, welcome to the forum, saliva of the centipede contains the proteins which is foreign to the body and hence causes subsequent reactions. The types of manifestations encountered are local reactions, systemic allergic reactions, toxic reactions, and delayed reactions.

According to your history it suggests 'Delayed reactions'. Less than 0.3 percent of insect bite reactions will result in a delayed reaction and esp. seen with multiple bites. It is usually seen 7-10 days post insect bites. It can be associated with the joint pain, fever, hives etc.

You need to undergo important tests like complete blood count which can show neutropenia, with development of reactive, plasmacytoid lymphocytes. Mild thrombocytopenia and Eosinophilia may be present. Measures of non-specific acute phase reactants, including the erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein should be done.

Anti histaminics with appropriate steroid therapy will help to alleviate the symptoms. This condition is also associated with muscle breakdown and weakness involving back muscle too and can worsen the pain. I suggest you to consult your physician get treated. Take care and regards.

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Avatar_m_tn
Hello Dr. Rajput,

It has now been 13 days after the bite incident. The bite is not bothering me anymore (no itching or pain and no fever). I don't have any joint pain or hives. As I said earlier, a dermatologist looked at the bite and informed that I it was healing and was showing some post-inflammatory pigmentation. Are you saying that I am in danger right now from something? Thanks for your input.
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Avatar_f_tn
hey, i read your post and felt that your telling my story. its exactly what happened to me and after  a week the same red swelling occurred on my hand i am very pleased to now know what it possibly can be ..thanks a lot.but is there anyone who can tell me that it is actually the second time i got bit by a centipede,can it be that i am allergic to its venom because the last time it bit me i didn't had such a reaction  but this time i had a reaction and went to the hospital  they gave me anti-allergy injection and anti-inflammatory drugs,it subsided and after a week it started to itch and swelled big time..
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi all!  The same thing is happening to me right now!  I was bitten on the foot by a centipede.  8 days later the area where I was bitten started to itch really bad.  By the end of the day, my foot was red and swollen.  I ended up going to the doctor and was prescribed an antibiotic.  Been on antibiotics for 3 days now and the swelling and redness is slowly improving.  Take care!
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