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How to treat a centipede bite

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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

  2. Wash the area with soap and water.

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

  4. Try taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen to counter the pain.

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

  6. 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.

  7. Tip

    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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About the Author

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.

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