Insect Sting Allergies
Symptoms of Insect Sting Allergy
Patients experiencing systemic or severe allergic reactions, which may include the following symptoms, should seek immediate medical help:
Hives, flushing and itching all over
- Abnormal swelling
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
- Anaphylactic shock and death
Diagnosis of Insect Sting Allergy
Treatment of Insect Sting Reactions
If the allergic reaction is not a medical emergency, the general steps to take in caring for an insect sting may include:
- Removing a stinger if it is present
- Cleansing the area of the bite or sting with soap and water
- Icing the area to bring down swelling
- If needed, taking an antihistamine to reduce itching
- Steroid medications may be prescribed to bring down the inflammation and swelling
Prevention of Insect Sting Reactions
Prevention of future reactions involves the following:
Patients allergic to insect stings should avoid high-risk areas such as yards, picnic areas where food and drinks are exposed, and trash containers.
They should carry epinephrine kits with them at all times. This should be used immediately in case of a severe reaction from an inadvertent insect sting.
Venom immunotherapy or allergy shots: This helps to increase tolerance to the insect venom to which a person is allergic. As a result, subsequent accidental insect stings do not produce severe, life-threatening allergic reactions.