How Do You Treat a Sting From a Stinging Nettle?

Individuals can treat a sting from a stinging nettle by applying baking soda to the affected area, taking a cool bath, looking for the plant jewelweed by the stinging nettle, taking certain medications and using certain lotions, as detailed by Baylor Scott & White Health. Stung individuals should avoid scratching the affected area because doing so further aggravates the rash.

An effective method for treating stings from stinging nettles is to apply a mixture of baking soda with water to the affected area, as HealthGuidance explains. Baking soda helps provide immediate relief and soothe the itchiness. Running cool water over the area is another effective way of alleviating the discomfort, and those stung should avoid putting the affected area in contact with hot water because it makes the rash and itching significantly worse.

Jewelweed is another plant that usually grows in close proximity to the stinging nettle, according to eHow. Those affected by a stinging nettle can rub jewelweed on the affected area to ease the burning and redness of the sting. Individuals can take medications such as over-the-counter antihistamines to treat stinging nettle stings. This drug also helps treat hives and stops itching and swelling, and individuals should not consume alcohol while taking it and be aware that it causes sleepiness. Additionally, applying calamine lotion and aloe vera to the affected area helps provide relief.

It is possible for the reaction to stinging nettle to be more severe, such as if the patient has a specific allergic reaction to the plant. If the patient has difficulty breathing or has a serious reaction involving hives or swelling, he or she should seek emergency medical help immediately, notes Scott & White Healthcare.

There are possible benefits to using stinging nettle to treat osteoarthritis, according to WebMD. There is some evidence that taking a stinging nettle supplement or applying stinging nettle to the skin in areas where the patient is experiencing pain from osteoarthritis can be beneficial. This regimen could even eliminate or reduce the need for pain medications in osteoarthritis patients. Possible side effects include stomach discomfort and sweating, and patients who apply the plant to the skin are at risk for rashes.