Symptoms of a centipede bite include :
If the patient develops an allergic reaction to the bite, the following symptoms may also be found:
Workup consists of a detailed history and physical examination.
Imaging studies are usually not required. An ECG may be conducted in patients with a past history of heart disease.
Usually, only a detailed history is enough to make a diagnosis as patients more often than not spot the centipede in their surrounding area.
Ice compresses/Heat packs
Covering the wound with ice compresses or heat packs, as preferred by the affected person, may be used to decrease the swelling.
Local injectable anaesthetics such as lidocaine may be administered, or common systemic analgesics such as NSAIDS (ibuprofen, naproxen, mefenamic acid, etc) may be given. Once pain has been treated, antibiotics may be given as prophylactic treatment. Prophylactic treatment by antibiotics, however, is not routinely performed in clinical practice unless there are signs of infection.
The wound should be carefully examined to check for any necrosis or signs of a secondary infection. It should then be treated with antiseptics and covered in gauze to heal.
A booster tetanus shot can be given.
If signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction are present, antihistamines may be given.
The majority of bites are not life threatening to humans and present the greatest risk to children and those who develop allergic reactions . Symptoms usually last fewer than 48 hours .
In the english medical literature, only two cases of acute coronary syndrome after centipede envenomation have been reported .
Complications of a centipede bite are extremely rare. They may include the following:
A centipede bite results when a centipede stings a human being resulting in piercing of the skin. Centipedes are active and carnivorous and some species can inflict intensely painful bites, which are followed by edema, lymphangitic and necrosis . Smaller centipedes usually do not puncture human skin .
The incidence of centipede bites is not known.
It has no prevalence in a particular sex.
Centipede bites are more common in some areas of South America and Africa.
Clinically, the wound is viewed as a cutaneous condition characterised by paired hemorrhagic marks that form a chevron shape caused by the large paired forcipules of the centipede .
When skin is penetrated, the centipede venom enters the system and results in a local tissue inflammatory response. The area of the bite becomes very painful, erythematous and swollen. It may also get slightly numb. Once the inflammatory cascade has abated, the swelling may gradually go down. Redness and pain fade with time as well.
If the affected person is hypersensitive, an allergic response may ensue. This may present with symptoms of an allergic reaction, as mentioned in later sections.
A centipede bite can be easily prevented by taking precautionary measures such as wearing protective boots and gloves during gardening, camping and other such activities. Good sanitary conditions are also advised.
If the bite has occurred, systemic effects and complications may be prevented by cleaning the wound with soap and water or antiseptics and wrapping it in gauze or bandage.
Centipedes are a predominantly carnivorous taxon . They belong to the phylum Arthropoda and have around 8000 known species. Their limbs, or maxillipeds, end in sharp claws and include venom glands that help the animal to kill or paralyse its prey .
A centipede bite is a wound that occurs when a medium-to-large sized centipede bites a human, such that skin is pierced.
Symptoms and Signs
Centipede bites have been reported to cause constitutional and systemic symptoms .
Signs of an allergic reaction may sometimes develop. If this occurs, visit to a nearby hospital or clinic is advised.
Treatment includes application of ice compresses/heat packs to reduce swelling, analgesics to reduce pain and treating the wound with antiseptic cream. If an allergic reaction seems to be occurring, it is advised that you should head for the nearest clinic or hospital.
Centipede bites can be prevented by taking precautionary measures such as wearing protective boots, coats/jackets and gloves during gardening, camping, and other such activities.