Q:

How should I treat a wasp sting if I'm allergic?

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Quick Answer

An allergic reaction to a wasp sting can range from mild to life-threatening, and treating it depends on the severity of the reaction, according to Healthline. Mild or moderate reactions can be treated at home, but a severe reaction requires immediate medical attention.

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How should I treat a wasp sting if I'm allergic?
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Full Answer

People who don't have a severe allergic reaction to a sting should treat it by removing the stinger and keeping it clean to prevent infection, recommends WebMD. Use tweezers or fingernails, but don't pinch the stinger, because that can inject more venom. Control the swelling with ice, and if a limb was stung, elevate it. Alleviate pain with acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and take an antihistamine or apply calamine lotion for itchiness. In two to five days, the area heals.

Severe allergic reactions to stings require emergency treatment because they are potentially life-threatening, notes Mayo Clinic. A few people who suffer a sting quickly develop anaphylaxis. Symptoms of this condition include difficulty breathing, a weak and rapid pulse, dizziness and fainting, nausea and diarrhea, and loss of consciousness. Other signs include swelling of the throat and tongue and skin reactions like hives or flushed, pale skin. People who experience a severe allergic reaction to a sting have a 30 to 60 percent chance of an anaphylactic reaction the next time they're stung, but a doctor or allergy specialist can recommend ways to avoid this.

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