Why can't stitches get wet

Horsefly sting: What helps against blood-sucking flies

A horsefly wrench is not only particularly painful, it can also be dangerous. The insects, which look like harmless flies, can transmit diseases. Tips on how to keep the wound from getting infected, treat swelling, and prevent stitches.

They look inconspicuous and harmless, but these flies sting. The so-called blind flies or horseflies belong to the family of flies, but also to blood-sucking insects. The females sting both animals and humans, while the males feed only on nectar and pollen.

Horsefly wrench: Beware of inflammation

A gadfly kicks in: horseflies are also called blind flies, although some species have brightly colored eyes and can even see very well. Because they are difficult to drive away, people used to think that they must be blind. (Source: dabjola / Getty Images)

When a brake stings, those affected notice it - unlike a mosquito bite - immediately. The brake attack is extremely painful and can be clearly felt. This is because the bloodsuckers saw the skin of their victims with their mouthparts, creating a "pool of blood" which they then suck up. Since brakes inject an anticoagulant secretion, the relatively large wound can continue to bleed even after the bite.

The sting of a horsefly causes severe itching, which is why many sufferers scratch the puncture site. But you should definitely avoid that. Otherwise there is a risk that the sting will catch fire because bacteria and pathogens get into the blood. If the sting has already become infected, see a doctor, as treatment with antibiotics may be useful in this case.

Symptoms: swelling and itching

The effects of a horsefly bite can be felt much longer than other insect bites. Typical symptoms are:

  • Injection site pain
  • Redness
  • severe itching
  • Bleeding from the wound
  • severe swelling

If you don't treat the sting properly right away, it can take up to two weeks for the wound to heal completely.

How to properly treat a horsefly wrench

You can recognize a horsefly bite by the fact that the bloodsucker is usually still on the wound, because horseflies are extremely difficult to drive away. If you have been stung by a brake, here's what to do:

  1. Treat the sting with heat first. This can relieve pain and itching. To do this, carefully place a hot washcloth on the stitch. The brake secretion can thereby be destroyed and the symptoms can be alleviated.
  2. Just don't scratch it. Even if the onset of pain and itching tempt you to do so, you should definitely refrain from scratching the puncture site. Otherwise, germs from the hands can easily penetrate the wound.
  3. Then cool the stitch. Use ice cubes or cooling pads to counteract the swelling and relieve the pain. Ointments and cooling gels that are applied to the puncture site also have the same effect.

Allergy and diseases

Brake stitch on an arm: If you have severe reactions to a sting, see a doctor. (Source: blickwinkel / imago images)

If there is particularly large swelling, you should be examined for an allergy. Symptoms of an allergy can include:

  • Swelling not only at the puncture site
  • shock
  • Shortness of breath
  • chills
  • Hot flashes

If you notice these signs, you should immediately consult a doctor or call the emergency doctor at 112. In most cases, horsefly bites are uncomfortable, but harmless to health. However, they can sometimes transmit diseases - including Lyme disease or anthrax.

How to protect yourself from the brake stitch

Bloodsuckers in the great outdoors: The rain brake is the most common brake in Germany and is active from May to September. (Source: imago / imagebroker)

Horseflies are particularly active on humid days in the summer months near meadows and wetlands. The bloodsuckers also like to be around horses and other large farm animals. You are attracted by sweat and visually by movements, and you are persistent and goal-oriented. They like to attack people near bathing lakes or swimming pools and can pursue their victims over long distances, such as joggers or cyclists.

The best protection against braking is clothing with long sleeves and trousers. However, the fabric must not be too thin, as brakes can pierce through light materials. It is therefore advisable to apply additional skin protection in the form of insect sprays or lotions.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.