Depending on whether a yellow jacket sting causes a mild or severe reaction, there are different treatment options, including using cold compresses, taking pain medication or antihistamines, applying soothing lotions and getting medical attention. In most people, a bite from a yellow jacket may only cause a local reaction that can produce symptoms such as pain, redness, inflammation and itching at the skin area around the sting site, states MedicineNet.
At times, the reaction can extend further away from the sting site, and swelling may be the most noticeable symptom. For a local reaction, the basic treatment options are to apply a cold compress for swelling, take an OTC medication, such as acetaminophen for pain and use an antihistamine if the sting produces itching. For pain relief at the sting site, a hydrocortisone cream may be useful, and calamine lotion may help relieve the symptom of itchy skin, notes Mayo Clinic.
A yellow jacket is a type of predatory wasp. If this wasp sting is on the arm or leg, it can cause some swelling, which may be treated by keeping the affected arm or leg elevated, states WebMD. A yellow jacket sting can also cause a severe allergic reaction in some people. The symptoms of such a reaction can include breathing problems, hives and facial swelling. A severe allergic reaction can lead to anaphylactic shock. For this reason, this type of reaction requires immediate medical attention. The main treatment for a severe allergic reaction is an epinephrine injection, states MedicineNet.