Wasp Sting

Summer season is the season when people tend to spend more time outdoors and this is the season when the wasp stings commonly occur. Most of the times, wasp stings are not really that painful and many people recover from them quickly and without any problems. However, there are a minor number of people, who after getting stung by a wasp, develop severe allergic reactions, which can become fatal if not attended promptly.

Wasp Sting: Symptoms, Treatment, Home Remedy, Herbal Remedy

Just like bees, wasps also have a stinger attached to them for self-defense. This stinger contains the poisonous venom that is transmitted to humans when they are stung. Unlike bees, wasps have the ability to sting multiple times as their stingers remains intact. Whereas a bee can only sting one time as its stinger becomes embedded in the skin of its victim. Even though the stinger of the wasp does not get stuck into human skin, its venom can still cause irritation and pain.

Symptoms Of Wasp Sting

Symptoms Of Wasp Sting

Most of the wasp sting victims will develop only minor symptoms after getting stung. Some of the common symptoms of a wasp sting are:

  • The victim of wasp sting experiences a sharp pain or a burning sensation at the sting site.
  • There is redness at the wasp sting site.
  • There is also some swelling and itching.
  • There can also be a raised welt surrounding the sting site.
  • A tiny white mark can be seen in the center of the welt. This indicates the point where the wasp's stinger has punctured the victim's skin.
  • After few hours of being stung by a wasp, the pain and swelling gradually subsides.

Some victims can have moderate local reactions after a wasp sting. These people may be allergic to the wasp sting and only have stronger symptoms, but no life-threatening symptoms (anaphylactic shock). Some of the large local reactions to the wasp sting include excessive swelling and redness, which will increase for a couple of days after the sting before gradually subsiding in a week or so. However, it is important to consult your doctor in case of large local reactions after being stung by a wasp. The doctor may prescribe an OTC antihistamine to alleviate the symptoms.

If a person has a large local reaction only one time after a wasp sting, then it doesn't mean that the person will continue to experience such reactions in the future. Whereas, in some cases, a person will continue to have large local reactions every time they get stung by a wasp. So, it is better to take all the precautions to not get stung in the future.

Anaphylaxis After A Wasp Sting

Anaphylaxis is a term used to describe severe allergic reaction after a wasp sting. A very minor percentage of people will experience anaphylaxis to wasps, bee and other insect bites. In anaphylaxis, the body goes into shock due to the wasp venom very soon after getting stung by a wasp. It is imperative to seek prompt medical care to treat anaphylaxis. Severe symptoms indicating anaphylaxis or a severe allergic reaction to wasp stings are:

  • Extreme swelling of the lips, face or throat after being stung by a wasp.
  • Patient also has itching or hives in those regions of the body, which are not affected by the wasp sting.
  • Breathing difficulties occur, such as wheezing.
  • Dizziness and an abrupt drop in the blood pressure (hypotension).
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Patient loses consciousness.
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Weak or fast pulse.

Most of the patients who have a previous history of anaphylaxis always carry a kit containing EpiPen (epinephrine injection), which can be given after a wasp (or any other insect) sting.

Treatment Of Wasp Stings

If you are wondering on what to do for wasp sting then know that home treatment is sufficient for treating mild to moderate reactions to wasp stings. Symptoms can be alleviated with the following measures:

  • Use soap and water to clean the area stung by wasp. This is done to clean as much venom as possible.
  • If the stinger of the wasp is in the skin, then remove it with a pair of tweezers or scrape it out to prevent more venom from releasing into the body.
  • Next, apply a cold compress to the site area. This will help in decreasing the pain and swelling.
  • In order to prevent infection, keep the bite area as dry and clean as possible. The wasp bite region can also be covered with a bandage.
  • Application of calamine lotion or topical hydrocortisone cream will help in relieving itching or irritation.
  • Over-the-counter analgesics and NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, paracetamol can be taken to manage the pain.
  • Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine maleate, will help in reducing the itching and swelling following a wasp sting.
  • For severe symptoms to wasp stings, use an EpiPen if the patient is carrying with him/her, and call 911.

Treatment Of Severe Allergic Reactions To Wasp Sting

  • Patient needs to be taken to the nearest emergency care, as soon as severe symptoms following a wasp sting start to appear.
  • More epinephrine is given to calm the immune system
  • Cortisone is given intravenously to reduce the inflammation caused by wasp sting.
  • If the patient is not breathing, then cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is started.
  • Oxygen is started to improve the breathing.

Effective Home Remedies For Wasp Sting From Your Kitchen Shelf!

  • First of all, remove the wasp's stinger, if it is still present in the skin. This will prevent more venom from spreading.
  • Ice cubes! Yes, cold compresses applied for about 15-20 minutes at the wasp sting area will help in reducing the pain and swelling.
  • A thick paste of baking soda or salt with water over the region stung by wasp will help in relieving the symptoms.
  • Colloidal oatmeal mixed in water and applied to the wasp sting region helps in soothing the skin.
  • Oatmeal and baking soda can also be mixed in your bath water.
  • A slice of onion pressed against the affected region stung by wasp helps in relieving any pain and irritation.
  • A small pad of cotton soaked in apple cider vinegar, or just vinegar, and held against the wound helps with the pain. The acid content in apple cider vinegar helps in neutralizing the venom.
  • A freshly cut slice of lemon kept over the skin also helps in relieving the pain following wasp sting.
  • Crush some garlic, mix it with salt, and place it over the sting region. You can also place a band aid over it.
  • A slice of cucumber held to the wasp bite affected region also gives comfort.
  • Cover the wasp sting region with a slice of raw potato.
  • Mix some Epsom salts with water and apply it to the bite region for symptom relief.
  • Applying some olive oil to the stung region also helps with pain relief and healing.
  • Place some chewed tobacco on the bite region for pain relief.

Effective Herbal Remedies For Wasp Sting from your Garden!

  • Rubbing a freshly picked flower head of a Marigold over the wasp bite area helps in symptom relief.
  • Crush a couple of fresh basil leaves to release its natural oils and apply it to the wasp bite area.
  • Roughly crush the leaves of Winter Savory to release its natural oils and apply it to the skin area stung by wasp.
  • Take an Aloe Vera leaf and split it open. Generously apply the aloe gel to the wasp bite area.
  • Roughly chop Plantain and mix it with some warm water and apply it to the sting region.
  • Mix a little bit of dirt with water and apply it to the affected area.

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Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: September 12, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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