How To Treat Wasp Stings (Symptoms and Remedies)

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Getting stung by a wasp is never a fun experience, and if you find yourself in a situation where you could be stung multiple times, it could even be dangerous. When you get stung by a wasp, you can do things to ease the pain and make sure you don’t end up getting an infection or allergic reaction. Knowing how to treat wasp stings can help keep you and your family safe if you end up near an aggressive wasp nest.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • How to Treat Wasp Stings
  • When To See a Doctor for Wasp Sting Treatment

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How to Treat Wasp Stings

Move Away From the Area

When you or someone you’re with is stung by a wasp, the first thing you should do is move away from the area. Unlike bees, which leave the stinger in the skin and die after stinging, wasps can sting more than once. Multiple wasp stings can even kill small children, so you must get to safety as soon as possible. Move slowly and carefully because wasps will be attracted to your body heat if you run.

Wash With Soap and Water

Wash the area that has been stung with soap and water as soon as you can. Wasps release a mild venom when they sting and it can carry harmful bacteria as well. If you don’t wash the area stung, the sting could potentially get infected and cause more issues on top of the pain itself. Washing will also help remove any venom that the stinger has left.

Apply a Cold Compress

Apply something cold like an ice pack to the affected area. Wasp stings cause local reactions like swelling, and applying the cold temperature will help keep that swelling down. Keep the cold pack on for at least 30 minutes in 10-minute intervals to ensure the swelling is kept at bay.

Take an Anti-Inflammatory

An over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help ease some of the pain of a wasp sting. It will also work in conjunction with the cold compress to keep swelling down at the site of the sting.

Use an Antihistamine

An oral antihistamine like Benadryl can help stave off any large local reaction like itching or allergic reaction to the wasp venom that the person who was stung might experience. You can also apply a topical antihistamine like calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to help relieve the itching and keep the sting from spreading throughout the area.

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When to See a Doctor for Wasp Sting Treatment

After being stung by a wasp, you may notice itching and swelling for several days afterward. This is normal and nothing to be alarmed about. However, if you start to notice specific symptoms that are out of the ordinary for you, this could be a sign of an insect sting allergy, and it’s best to get medical attention.

You should seek medical treatment right away if you notice things like difficulty breathing or tightness in your throat or chest within minutes of being stung. This is a sign of a severe allergic reaction and should be taken very seriously. If you’ve never been stung by a stinging insect before, keep an eye out for reactions like this, as it could be indicative of a serious reaction or anaphylaxis to the venom.

If you notice nausea, high blood pressure, or vomiting as time goes on, this could be another sign of a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. You should also seek medical help from your healthcare provider if the swelling and itching in the sting area don’t get better after a few days or if it gets steadily worse. This could mean that the sting is getting infected, and you will need to take antibiotics. After you get medical care, consult with your doctor or allergist on how you can avoid getting stung by wasps or bees in the future or get the right allergy shots to prevent these complications.

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Protect Yourself From Wasp Stings

Getting stung by a wasp can be very painful, but if you know how to deal with it with first aid, you can help ease some of the pain and protect yourself and your family. Knowing what to look for when it comes to allergic reactions can also prevent serious complications. When hiking or playing in the backyard, always be aware of your surroundings to avoid getting stung by these annoying pests.

If you have a wasp hive in your backyard or the eaves of your house, always consult with a pest control professional to remove it. You should never try to remove these yourself, as you could end up with serious insect stings. A pest control technician will have the right tools and knowledge to remove hornets, wasps, honey bees, and yellowjackets safely so you can get back to your outdoor activities.

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