Bee and wasp stings are one of the common causes of minor medical emergencies. Wasp stings are known to arise significant allergic reactions, ranging from localized pain and swelling, to serious symptoms including hives, excessive swelling, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. However, severe reactions are only seen among those who are hypersensitive to insect stings. Most wasps tend to attack when they perceive a threat to their colony, that is when an intruder comes closer to their hive or nest. At the same time, loud noises, bright and dark colors, and certain perfumes can also attract them to humans. Females are the only ones that sting, and they do so multiple times, making the experience quite traumatic for the victim.
Bees leave the stinger on a person's skin. But, in some cases, even red wasps do that. Their stinger needs to be (and can easily be) withdrawn from the victim's skin. However, it needs to be done with caution, as mishandling the stinger can actually release more venom into the body, aggravating the problem furthermore. Post removal, the area should be washed with soap and water.
➔ You can use ice treatment. Place ice cubes either in a washcloth or put them in a plastic bag, and apply the pack on the skin. It is not recommended to put ice directly on the affected area. Let the ice stay in place for about 10 to 15 minutes, after which, the skin should be allowed to dry out completely. Repeat the process, if need be. Those with circulation problems should keep the ice pack for shorter duration.
➔ You can apply any topical antihistamine on the sting site. They are available either in cream, stick, or gel form. If you experience pain, then you may want to use a topical anesthetic cream, as well.
➔ Application of sliced onion is also said to be beneficial in relieving the pain and inflammation. Take a fresh slice of onion and place it on the affected area for about 5-10 minutes.
➔ Application of Epsom-salt water also proves to be beneficial in minimizing the pain. In addition to that, taking a mixture of 3 teaspoons of baking soda along with 1 teaspoon water, and applying it on the site at regular intervals throughout the day, proves to be of great help.
When you are traveling in the wild, or are working in the garden, it is important to be cautious. Ensure that you do not wave the wasps away, in case you are swarmed by them. Violent movements can excite these creatures and make them more aggressive, putting you in a potential risk zone to face an attack. If you come across a wasp nest, then do not blow at them, as they will attack immediately. At the same time, you may want to stay away from flowers, trees, bushes, or piles of wood, as they are the ideal spots where these insects are found. Use of long-sleeves clothes, full pants, covered shoes, socks, and gloves will prove to be helpful to safeguard yourself against this deadly sting.
If the stung person experiences shortness of breath, wheezing, or develops a severe throbbing headache, then immediate medical attention is required. The same applies for symptoms that include hives, redness, widespread itching accompanied by fainting or lightheadedness. Do not resort to self-treatment and OTC medications in this case, and call 911 immediately.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be considered as a replacement for expert medical advice.