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Wasp Stings: The Essential Information On The Signs And Treatment
21. Aug, 2010
Wasp stings can be incredibly painful and it is essential to get first aid when such a thing happens. Unlike bees, wasps can sting unprovoked so you never know when one may sting you. Wasps can live in colonies which means if one stings you, you may be stung again by other wasps living in the same colony.
When a wasp stings you it can leave it’s stinger inside your skin, though this is more common in bees. If the stinger has been left inside you, it is more likely that your body will have a reaction to it being there.
Often though, the wasp sting will not cause you any serious injury except the immediate pain following the sting. You can experience some local reactions which is isolated to where the wasp stung you. These include:
Swelling and itching after being stung.
Something known as a local reaction which is larger than four inches and develops over 24-48 hours after the stinging occurred.
Infection can occur, particularly if the stinger was left in by the wasp.
Redness around the site of the sting.
Sometimes after being stung you can develop systematic reactions which are also known as allergic reactions. You should consult a doctor or go to the nearest hospital if the following signs occur:
Swelling of the mouth and even the throat.
Finding it difficult to breathe.
Coming out in hives which are raised bumps, and itch.
In severe cases the person may lose consciousness and death may occur.
Treatment is very much based upon the signs and symptoms following the wasp sting. It should be noted that at present there is no anti venom to relive the symptoms of a wasp sting. Most of the time, treatment at home is all that is necessary. The following is about what you can do for the person at home after a wasp sting:
You will need to remove the stinger, if there is one, from the skin. This can be difficult because it will be painful for the person and it can be quite fiddly.
Ice should be used on the area of the wasp sting. Apply the ice every hour for approximately 20 minutes. Remember to not place the ice directly on the skin.
You could take an antihistamine like Benadryl which will help with the itching and may prevent an allergic reaction.
Wash the site of the sting with warm soapy water for the next few days and take painkilling medication if required.
If you develop an allergic reaction where your skin becomes inflamed with hives and you start to feel sick, you should go to your nearest hospital where they will likely give you an antihistamine and maybe other injections as well. If you have low blood pressure and you are having difficulty breathing then this is an urgent medical situation and you will need to be admitted to hospital.
As you can probably tell, a simple sting by a wasp can lead to some terrifying situations. However, most of the time, the person that is stung, will have no other symptoms than the pain. It is important to know what to do when stung by a wasp to prevent any infection or further worrying symptoms progressing.
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