What Do You Do for a Wasp or Hornet Sting?

Wasp and hornet stings require a similar treatment protocol for most people, beginning with washing with soap and warm water to get rid of excess venom. An ice pack on the area of the sting reduces pain and swelling, and keeping the area dry and clean fights infection, notes Healthline.

People who have severe allergies to wasp or hornet bites require administration of an EpiPen if one is available, followed by emergency medical attention. Even if an EpiPen is not available, it is important to call 911 if a reaction becomes severe. Medical staff often provide more epinephrine to calm down the patient's immune system, administer cortisone intravenously to reduce the swelling that is part of the allergic reaction, CPR if breathing has momentarily stopped, and other medications to facilitate breathing, according to Healthline.

The vast majority of people, though, do not have this allergy. In cases of skin irritation or itching, calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream manage the discomfort. Some people prefer taking a warm bath with baking soda or colloidal oatmeal, although both are available in skin creams. In cases involving ongoing pain, over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen manage the pain adequately in most cases. Antihistamine medications such as chlorpheniramine maleate and diphenhydramine address itching, as stated by Healthline.