Maui Discussion

Ask a Maui Doctor: What Should I Do After Being Bit by a Centipede?

May 20, 2017, 8:33 AM HST
* Updated May 20, 8:35 AM
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Doctors at Minit Medical answer some of the questions submitted by readers.

Each week, a doctor from Minit Medical Kahului or Lahaina will answer questions that have been submitted by readers. Submit your own medical related questions to our doctors at [email protected].

Centipede. Stock Photo

Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask a Maui Doctor” column.

Q: What should I do after being bit by a centipede?

A: Centipede bites are unfortunately very common on Maui. You will often see two puncture sites which helps differentiate between centipede’s and other critters.


Response can be mild to dramatic. For milder cases, with little pain and local irritation, ice/elevation of extremity is important as well as Advil or ibuprofen to reduce inflammation.


For more severe cases that include significant swelling and redness, a trip to urgent care is important to control the inflammation and prevent infection. Antibiotics and steroids are often required.

For prevention, apparently chickens love centipedes and there is no shortage of chickens on island.

**The contents of this article such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained in this article (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.


If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Reliance on any information provided by in this article is solely at your own risk.

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