This time of year, you are bound to encounter plenty of flying pests, who threaten to put a damper on your summer fun. Most everyone has had an insect bite or sting at some point. Most bites or stings, whether from mosquitoes, flies, bees, or wasps, result in a mild reaction to the venom or other protein that the insect injects into you. This can result in redness, minor swelling, pain, and itching at the site of the bite or sting. But, some people develop a severe allergic reaction to an insect sting (most often from a bee or wasp) This may result in nausea or vomiting; swelling of the face, lips or throat; hives; or breathing problems. If you or someone you know begins experiencing these severe symptoms shortly after an insect bite or sting, call 911 and get to an emergency room as soon as possible. A severe, whole-body allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. This can be life-threatening, if not treated promptly.
Most reactions, however, are relatively mild. Try these helpful
First Aid Care Tips for Mild Reactions:
- If the stinger is still in the skin, remove it by gently scraping across the skin with a flat-edged object like a credit card.
- Wash the area with soap and water.
- Place a cold compress or an ice pack (wrapped in a cloth to protect the skin) on the sting or bite for about 10 minutes to reduce pain and swelling.
- Apply calamine lotion, an antihistamine cream, or a paste of baking soda and water to the area several times a day until itching and pain are resolved.
If you have a persistent rash or hives that do not clear up on their own, see a Board Certified Dermatologist, like Dr. Caballero at Warrenton Dermatology, for professional assistance.