Insect Bite Creams and Ointments: FSA Eligibility

Insect Bite Creams and Ointments: eligible with a Flexible Savings Account (FSA)
Insect bite creams and ointments are eligible over-the-counter (OTC) medications with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Insect bite creams and ointments reimbursement is not eligible with a limited-purpose flexible spending account (LPFSA) or a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

What happens during an insect bite?

During the spring, summer and fall months, individuals who spend time outdoors will put themselves at risk for insect bites, as this is the time of year when common biting insects such as mosquitoes, midge, horseflies and others will be a biting nuisance. While some individuals' immune systems may not respond adversely to insect bites, others may experience red, itchy, swollen bumps on the skin that are an allergic reaction to the saliva of the insect coming into contact with the host.

For some people who experience an insect bite, the allergic reaction can be an uncomfortable nuisance. After a bite, the body will release histamine and other inflammatory chemicals to seal off the affected area and prevent the damage or allergens from spreading further. This immune system response will result in the tell-tale red, inflamed skin, and typically will result in a recurring itch that will persist without treatment (Medical News Today).

What are insect bite creams and ointments?

If an individual experiences this type of painful and itchy immune system response, insect bite creams and ointments are among the best over-the-counter options to alleviate the discomfort associated with bug bites. The most popular option is hydrocortisone cream, which is proven to inhibit the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body, which can reduce redness, curb itching and shorten the healing process.

In addition to hydrocortisone creams, anti-histamine creams like benadryl work just as effectively as other insect bite creams and ointments. These topical creams work by blocking histamine receptors in the body to reduce inflammation, as well as the discomfort that comes with these bites. Topical antihistamines are the best choice for insect bites, as they will provide a direct dose of medicine to a localized area to improve recovery times. While they do not work as quickly as hydrocortisone creams, they offer relief for a variety of allergic reactions, including insect bites and stings, rashes, hay fever, and much more (WebMD).