edit: need suggestions quick! red hot swollen ear!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 06-03-2010, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son woke up today (well we noticed it shortly thereafter) with one of his ears very red, and him batting at/rubbint it (he is 2 1/2), it is swollen on the outer upper part. I'm suspecting maybe a bug bite, can't think of anything else.

anyone have any other ideas. Im guessing if it was from a bite it should be gone by tomorrow... its been there more than 8 hrs already but doesn't seem to bother him for the most part unless he thinks about it or I want to look at it. Every once in a while he rubs at it. Hes acting as usual today.

this ever happen to anyone else?

eta: Just got some photos uploaded here

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." -Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
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#2 of 19 Old 06-03-2010, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yikes! I think it is getting worse and I may call the dr soon. Working on some photos. I see 2 "dimples" in the swollen part, where I suspect something bit! Im guessing a spider... don't know.

any home remedies for spider bites?? or whatever it was?!? Its clearly worse tonight that earlier. Should I be putting ice? It is red, hot, swollen and getting worse, first noticed this about 10 hrs ago.

SHould I be upping intake of vitamin C?

any suggestions?!?!? I have a regular mainstream ped. I may have him seen tomorrow. I know they won't tell me much (Unless its clearly an emergency of course) - need some help asap

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#3 of 19 Old 06-03-2010, 09:29 PM
 
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This happened to my 6 year old several weeks ago and lasted 3 full days. It was worse (much more swollen) the 2nd day, the same on the third day, and finally much better on the 4th. I also assumed bug bite, though I never saw any evidence of it. I did not bring her to the dr, and it went away on its own. How is it doing this evening?
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#4 of 19 Old 06-03-2010, 10:14 PM
 
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Picture? Any fever?

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#5 of 19 Old 06-03-2010, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, just talked to the dr on call on the phone. They want to see him tomorrow so in the morning I will be setting up an appt. unless of course its gone or something. in the meantime if it looks bad or gets worse I am to bring him to ER. He is absolutely playing and acting fine tonight. For a while after his bath he was batting at it more than once per minute. No fever or other signs of illness.

The dr said what they would do in ER is give him an injection of cortisone (sp?) or possibly by mouth.

If going into office, they will give him orally (same thing) and it will be for 5 days. This is to prevent it from getting any worse.

Im hoping it doesnt look bad enough to them to do that of course because I am unsure yet (no time to search yet) on side effects of that or what. any advice?

I asked what if it was a spider bite and we did nothing, she said it could last about one week if doing nothing. the cortisone would help it go away faster.

we'll see what happens tonight, and what it looks like in the morning. I will have him seen for sure, and get the rx. filled. Im just not entirely positive this is the wisest route, if it appears to not be any worse in the morning. Im hopeful maybe it will get better?

I gave a tsp or so of cod liver oil and extra C and E tonight, to possibly help inflammation although Im doubtful. The thing I read online you want to avoid with spider bites (and in cartilage in ear is especially prone to) is infections, which will need antibiotics. He had terrible reaction to one antibiotic he was on more than a yr ago and I will avoid that scenerio at all costs! I have ionic silver here and Im contemplating using a few drops as a precaution (any thoughts?) although I dont think its warranted quite yet.

working on photos. will edit later

Oh - she said I could use bendryl (we have none, have never used it before) internally to reduce swelling. what does everyone think of this?

said I could put cold compress on it

I put some ice on it for a while, and thats it so far.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." -Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
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#6 of 19 Old 06-03-2010, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I edited first post to add the link to photos taken several hours ago. Ear does not appear worse right now than those photos show.

IF this is the worst it will get, does he clearly need the cortisone they will want to put him on (for 5 days) tomorrow? what does everyone think?

It is supposed to prevent progression to prevent from getting worse. I will have it filled if they want, but not sure if he absolutely needs it. I wonder if I could hold onto it for another day to see if it gets worse. What are the pros/cons side effects of this anyone familiar?

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#7 of 19 Old 06-03-2010, 11:26 PM
 
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Hot compresses are good against infection, but might be difficult to manage with a squirmly toddler.
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#8 of 19 Old 06-04-2010, 12:14 AM
 
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Yikes. Can you touch it without pain? I'll say that spider bites do tend to get worse and you can't treat them except by preventing infection. However, the ones that cause damage hurt. A lot. So do other skin damaging bug bites. And it doesn't sound like this hurts. I'm wondering if mosquito and it's just that the cartilage/ear is reacting. I'd do the benadryl and see if it helps personally. I'd much rather do that than steroids.

We ended up with an antibiotic cream for a spider bite here that had been turning toward infection. It's helping but the bite damage is still progressing.

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#9 of 19 Old 06-04-2010, 12:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He doesn't like me touching it or messing around there (trying to move his hair so I can see it better) but he doens't cry out in pain if I touch it so I dont think its very painful. He sort of liked (or allowed) me to put some ice on it for 5 or 10 minutes (off and on) earlier this evening. But, he did bat at it sometimes while playing, so I know he knows something is different or bothering him there. He never mentions it unless asked and has been playing as usual today and for the most part ignoring it. But I became alarmed when I realized this evening, that instead of just a RED ear like it had been all day, it got worse and swelled up. I wasnt sure what the red ear was from until that point then I have just assumed this is a bug bite from spider.. Just hoping it doesnt progress and maybe it will look better tomorrow. *fingers crossed*

Thats a good idea about the benadryl, since we don't have any now maybe I can pick some up tomorrow and ask them if I can try that first. I just hate to do 5 days of the cortisol when perhaps by waiting another day it might go away on its own? will try to update after our appt

Does yours have a spider bite too? where at? can you give me a link or PM me with more info? I guess thats a good term to search. duh.. off to do that

It is possible a mosquito as i did kill one or two earlier, but there is no characteristic swelling around the bite and no itchiness. opened a window last night and a few bugs flew in. but, i think this is probably a crawling bug (our mattress is on the floor) like a spider.

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#10 of 19 Old 06-04-2010, 01:53 AM
 
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I react badly to spider bites. Spent a week nursing one with ice packs and such. My leg was so swollen, my mom made me go to urgent care. Dr said it was almost but not quite infected and he recommended hot packs - bring circulation to get rid of poison so healing could happen. I started right away at home and HOLY COW! It stung a whole bunch at first, but after the first 15 min it felt much better. Hot packs on and off for the next day and my leg was much much better. I use hot first now on bites and have much less redness and swelling.

Homeopathic ledum for puncture wounds and tetanus concerns, might be of use.
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#11 of 19 Old 06-04-2010, 02:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by zane View Post
I react badly to spider bites. Spent a week nursing one with ice packs and such. My leg was so swollen, my mom made me go to urgent care. Dr said it was almost but not quite infected and he recommended hot packs - bring circulation to get rid of poison so healing could happen. I started right away at home and HOLY COW! It stung a whole bunch at first, but after the first 15 min it felt much better. Hot packs on and off for the next day and my leg was much much better. I use hot first now on bites and have much less redness and swelling.

Homeopathic ledum for puncture wounds and tetanus concerns, might be of use.
You're the 2nd person to write that.. why did the ped say a cold compress and I read online ice packs? I did apply some ice to it for a while thinking that was a GOOD thing *sigh* I suppose I should have at least done nothing.

In the meantime Im trying to learn more about this cortisol. I dont think this will be a good thing. It suppresses the bodys natural response? its only to treat symptoms? he's not really in much discomfort.. yet. She said it would prevent it from getting worse. but can't I just wait another day to see for myself?

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#12 of 19 Old 06-04-2010, 04:38 AM
 
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Steroids would help a severe allergic reaction. Benadryl will help a more minor one. I can't see moving to steroids unless things are progressing/you've got a major reaction on your hands. I also haven't had experience in steroids being effective for spider or other damaging insect bites. Those aren't allergy related. My experience, though, is limited to my father and son.


I don't think you want detail and I wouldn't google it either! Everyone's reactions to bites (even the serious ones) are so different. If you google you'll see only worse case. And in this case I think it's highly possible this is an mosquito or similar reaction. I'd try the benadryl!

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#13 of 19 Old 06-04-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by newmum35 View Post
You're the 2nd person to write that.. why did the ped say a cold compress and I read online ice packs? I did apply some ice to it for a while thinking that was a GOOD thing *sigh* I suppose I should have at least done nothing.

In the meantime Im trying to learn more about this cortisol. I dont think this will be a good thing. It suppresses the bodys natural response? its only to treat symptoms? he's not really in much discomfort.. yet. She said it would prevent it from getting worse. but can't I just wait another day to see for myself?
I think your ped's office was thinking in terms of providing comfort from the swelling and heat. And that should be fine. I wouldn't keep the ear cool all the time because the fever helps with the infection, but there's no need for your ds to have a hot ouchy ear all the time either.
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#14 of 19 Old 06-04-2010, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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quick update: much better upon waking. did not appear red or hot. still swollen, similar shape (I can see the 2 dimples which I suspect are bite marks) but the color is normal. I don't really feel a trip to dr is warranted anymore but havent ruled it out, as I'd love to bring them the photos and have them look at it today and see what they think. I learned a while ago they are prescription happy (with antibiotics anyway) so really want to avoid if possible however Im very curious to know whether they would/might have put him on that yesterday if he had been in as well as seeing what they see today. Im going to be driving past there later so if they have an opening around that time, I might. It would also be nice to show them its going away on its own without any help. Well, I did up the C,E and give cod liver oil, both for him, and myself (still nursing) - not sure if these helped the inflammation they may have. Havent gotten out yet so no benedryl or anything (and I dont think any is needed at this point, we'll see if it continues to improve or maybe gets worse as the day progresses, similar to yesterday) But yesterday was a bit different in that it started out red in color from the morning, and stayed red the entire day, turning into swelling later. Today its still swollen but the color is normal.

Found some interesting products mentioned by others as I was searching online last night including a few available at walmart. Hylands PRID (drawing salve) and Sawyer Bite and Sting Kit which is an extractor (sporting goods dept) for drawing out venom from bites. Very interesting, and I may try to look for these to have on hand, they seem like they would be useful for first aid kits. Then someone else on this board I think mentioned another salve

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#15 of 19 Old 06-04-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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Don't forget mama, even if they give you a prescription you don't have to fill it. So if it will make you feel better take him in for the appointment to get it looked at, but hold off on giving the meds if it doesn't seem warranted yet. BTW don't hesitate in asking the dr "what if we wait on giving the antibiotics/cortisone for a day/unless it gets worse, etc". I was once given a prescription for abx for a suspected UTI for my dd (at the time 3 yrs old). I told the dr I didn't like to give abx unless absolutely necessary and (despite being super mainstream) he was totally ok with putting off giving them for a day or so to see if there was any improvement (and there was, BTW, her discomfort turned out to be caused by irritation on the labia).

Anyway, it sounds like good news that it isn't looking as bad today. Also that he is playing and acting normally.

Keep us posted!

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#16 of 19 Old 06-05-2010, 02:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I never did take him to see dr. He was fine, we had a busy day. A little pink but not red like yesterday. Not as swollen. And he never seemed to notice it today. So I figured the worst was behind us (yesterday) and didnt even get the benedryl. (Ive never used this before) .. I might get some of those other products to have on hand in case a worse experience ever happens. Still unsure about whether to use ice next time, a hot compress, both, or neither lol

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#17 of 19 Old 06-08-2010, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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just an update to ask for suggestion. Its been 5 days now and I thought he was over this a few days ago (ear is back to almost normal) but yesterday & today he has started to rub his head in back of his ear (behind his head). Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions, is it normal for the area to itch 5 days after a bite? I thought someone said they just went through this with their 6 yr old - where was bite? same place? did it itch if so how long? the strange thing is he was not itching before now but that first evening he did rub his ear itself during the time it was swollen. Now he is rubbing back of his head but just started yesterday otherwise acting fine. I haven't taken anymore pics of the ear because other than that first day there is not much to see. IT is improving and looks almost normal.

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#18 of 19 Old 06-08-2010, 08:37 PM
 
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I'm sorry the issue isn't completely resolved. My 6 year old was the one with a similar red, swollen ear. It only bothered her a little while the swelling was present. Perhaps your son's itchy/uncomfortable head is an unrelated coincidence?
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#19 of 19 Old 06-09-2010, 12:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry the issue isn't completely resolved. My 6 year old was the one with a similar red, swollen ear. It only bothered her a little while the swelling was present. Perhaps your son's itchy/uncomfortable head is an unrelated coincidence?
I'm beginning to think maybe it is unrelated. Tried to look at his scalp between his hairs in the area where he rubbed and thought I saw some tiny pink marks in one area barely noticeable only out in the sunlight was I able to see it... Thinking now perhaps he got bit some more by something else more recently on the back of the head... I know a few days ago he got another bite on his cheek but he didn't react at all to that and it went away quickly. This is rather strange set of occurrances all in the same week, perhaps I have to hunt down this hungry bug in our room or maybe its all from different insects. He did fall off the bed several times a night recently (we sleep on the mattress on the floor so the "fall" was less than a foot) and was sleeping right on the rug itself before I found him and helped him back into bed. But we've been sleeping here for a year or two and have not had prior bite experiences, although its only been recently he's seemed to move around more and fall off. He sleeps alone half the night and with me the other half.

I thought maybe it was a delayed reaction to the first spider bite where his ear really reacted, but maybe not. We'll see what happens in another day or two.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." -Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
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