Tag: wasp stings

Treatment Options for Insect Stings

The best treatment for prevention of insect stings is to avoid contact with all stinging insects. Outdoors, avoidance of bright colors and sweet smells will also help to reduce the attraction of stinging insects. For those with severe reactions to stinging insects should always carry injectable epinephrine to be given in emergency situations. Epinephrine is an emergency medication that requires emergency care even after administration of the medication.

Testing is also available to determine exactly which stinging insects you are allergic too. Stinging insect testing consists of both intradermal and prick testing methods. Intradermal testing consists of injecting small amounts of venom under the skin and monitoring for a reaction.

On a case by case basis, our board-certified allergist will determine if lab work is a more suitable testing option to identify stinging insect allergies.

Immunotherapy injections (IT) are also available for those with an allergy to stinging insects. It is the same procedure as IT for environmental allergens, but replaced with small amounts of the insects venom that is increased with tolerance to a therapeutic level.

Your board-certified allergist or immunologist can help you determine the best treatment and testing options for you.

bee sting allergies

Stinging Insect Allergies

Many Americans are allergic to insect stings. With many different types of stinging insects and variations in reactions it can be confusing to determine if you have a true allergy and to what type of insect. A true allergic reaction is one that results in anaphylaxis, with the possibility of the following symptoms;

  • Hives, itching, and swelling in areas other than the sting site
  • Tightness in the chest and/or difficulty breathing
  • Hoarseness of voice or swelling of tongue
  • Dizziness
  • Sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Unconsciousness or cardiac arrest
  • Nausea, abdominal cramps, or diarrhea

A normal reaction to an insect sting usually results in swelling, pain, itching and redness at the sting site. A large local reaction can occur and involves swelling beyond the sting site and may require the use of an antihistamine or steroid to reduce the swelling.

There are five common types of stinging insects. Those include yellow jacket, honey bees and bumble bees, wasps, hornets, and fire ants.

For more information on prevention and at home care of stings check out this website.

Treatments for Stinging Insect Allergies