Dealing with a wasp sting

A wasp sting is considered common particularly during the warm months when many spend outdoors for extended periods of time. The stings can cause discomfort but most are able to recovery rapidly without any complications.

It is important to bear in mind that wasps are equipped with a stinger as a way to defend itself. This stinger contains venom that is introduced to an individual during a sting. Unlike a bee that only stings once, a wasp can sting several times during an attack and the stingers stay intact. Nevertheless, even without a wedged stinger, the venom can trigger intense irritation and pain.

What are the symptoms of a wasp sting?

In most cases of individuals who do not have allergies to a wasp sting, they only end up with minimal symptoms during and after a sting. The initial sensations include piercing pain or burning sensation at the sting site. Swelling, redness and itchiness can also occur as well.

Normal local reactions

Wasp sting

The reactions include significant swelling and redness that intensifies for 2-3 days after a wasp sting.

An individual is likely to develop an elevated welt around the sting site. A small-sized white mark can be seen in the center of the welt where the stinger pierced the skin. In most cases, the swelling and pain subsides after a few hours of being stung.

Large local reactions

This reaction is linked with a bee or wasp sting. Those who experience a large local reaction might be allergic to a wasp sting, but will not end up with dangerous symptoms. The reactions include significant swelling and redness that intensifies for 2-3 days after a wasp sting.

In most instances, the reaction subsides over a week or so. A doctor should be consulted if this reaction occurs after a wasp sting. An over-the-counter antihistamine medication to minimize the discomfort can be used.

Can anaphylaxis occur after a wasp sting?

In severe allergic reactions to the stings or anaphylaxis, the body goes into a state of shock as a response to the wasp venom. Many individuals who go into shock after a wasp sting do so rapidly. It is vital to seek immediate medical care to manage anaphylaxis properly.

  • Hives or itchiness in areas of the body not affected by the sting
  • Significant swelling of the lips, face or throat
  • Dizziness
  • Breathing difficulty such as gasping or wheezing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Abrupt drop in the blood pressure
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Racing or weak pulse rate
  • Loss of consciousness