Treating Wasp Sting and Avoiding Allergic Reaction and Anaphylactic Shock

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Just like bees, wasps have stingers on the ends of their bodies. The tip of a wasp’s stinger secretes a poisonous venom. But unlike bees that could only sting once, a single wasp can sting several times. This is meant as a self-defense mechanism. The wasp won’t attack unless accidentally or purposely provoked.

Wasp stings are fairly common especially during the warmer months. That’s because we spend most of the time outside. Although painful, wasp sting is not life-threatening unless the individual is allergic to it.

Symptoms of Wasp Sting

The tell-tale signs of a wasp sting include irritation, swelling and redness. Itching could also occur. The affected area will develop into a raised welt. A white mark is visible on the part where the skin was punctured.

If you are not allergic to the sting, the symptoms will go away on their own. But if you are allergic, you could experience a large local reaction. The symptoms are not life-threatening but will cause extreme discomfort. Large local reaction symptoms include extreme redness, progressive swelling for two to three days.

Experiencing a large local reaction once does not mean you will react the same away if you are attacked again. Most times, you will only go through one strong reaction. Of course, try to avoid being stung by wasps again.

Treating Wasp Sting Allergic Reaction

To eliminate persistent itching and swelling, take anti-histamines. You can also use hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to soothe irritation. Over the counter medication also works to ease the pain associated with wasp stings.

As for home remedies, a cold compress applied to the affected area helps minimize swelling and reduce pain. Baking soda, colloidal oatmeal, and medicated creams also work to bring down swelling.

Symptoms of Severe Reaction and Anaphylactic Shock

Some individuals are extremely allergic to wasp stings. And in such case, take the patient to the nearest hospital. At this point, you are avoiding anaphylaxis.  Anaphylactic shock is s life-threatening, extreme allergic reaction.

Symptoms include eyes swollen shut, hives, throat swelling that impedes breathing and slow pulse. Other symptoms include wheezing, dizziness, feeling faint, loss of consciousness, nausea and diarrhea. Stomach cramps, rashes, and racing pulse are also symptoms of anaphylaxis.

Treating Wasp Sting Severe Reaction and Anaphylactic Shock

If a loved one goes into anaphylactic shock, call 911. If the body goes through shock in response to the venom, time is of the essence. Move quickly and seek medical attention immediately to treat anaphylaxis.

If the breathing stops temporarily, conduct cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR. The patient will be given intravenous cortisone to reduce inflammation. To improve breathing, doctors will administer steroid medication, oxygen, and other drugs.

Finally, note that those who experienced anaphylaxis once after a wasp sting is 30% to 60% likely to experience the same thing after a second attack. For those with a history of anaphylaxis, keep a first aid kit with epinephrine injections (Epi-Pens) in handy. Epinephrine is a drug that relaxes the heart and blood vessels. A shot of epinephrine helps prevent shortness of breath and improve respiration rate during an extreme allergic reaction.


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