Wasp Sting: Symptoms, Treatments, and Remedies

Wasp Sting: Symptoms, Treatments, and Remedies

Wasp Sting: Symptoms, Treatments, and Remedies

Wasp stings are frequent, particularly in the spring and summer when individuals spend more time outside than usual. Although some people find them distressing, they have a speedy and painless recovery for the most part.

Stingers are found on all three species of wasps, hornets, and bees. During stinging, a wasp’s stinger carries venom.

Even if the wasp stinger is not lodged into the skin, wasp venom can cause substantial discomfort and irritation. In addition, you will likely have a severe response if you are allergic to the venom. Both cases need immediate treatment to avoid consequences and alleviate symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms?

Here are a few common symptoms that might happen with a wasp sting.

Local Reactions

A local reaction is the most frequent response to a bee or wasp sting. Pain, swelling, warmth, and redness are common sting symptoms. Itching might also occur. These symptoms appear shortly after the sting and generally persist for a few hours. Depending on the insect, the stinging equipment can still be visible. Significant local responses can cause edema persisting up to a week, nausea, and fatigue. This is not an allergic response.

Systemic or body-wide Allergic Reactions

Systemic or body-wide allergy responses occur in patients with previously generated IgE antibodies against the same insect venom. Only a tiny fraction of stings cause systemic allergic responses. Symptoms include hives, skin flushing, and trouble breathing due to pharyngeal and epiglottal enlargement and bronchial tube constriction. 

The response might range from minor skin hives to life-threatening reactions. Anaphylaxis is the most severe immune response and occurs more often in men under 20. Most anaphylactic episodes occur after minor stings. However, an anaphylactic response increases the likelihood of recurrence by 60 percent.

Toxic Reactions

Toxic responses are caused by venom toxins rather than an immunological response. Numerous simultaneous stings can deliver a significant quantity of poison into the body. Fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, disorientation, and convulsions are common symptoms. 

Hemorrhoids, rashes, and skin problems are less prevalent in toxic responses. Having severe bee or wasp venom responses can induce the body to generate antibodies to the venom, increasing the chance of systemic anaphylactic reactions to stings.

Delayed Reactions

Rarely, delayed effects occur days to weeks after the sting. These responses account for fewer than 3 percent of all insect sting reactions. The person’s medical history and condition might have a role in delayed responses. 

For example, acute encephalitis causes brain inflammation, nerves, blood vessels, kidneys, and blood clotting issues. Serum sickness can begin a week to ten days after a bite. Lymph nodes might be dilated and cause itching.

Immediate Treatments

If you are stung by a wasp, you need immediate medical assistance to minimize the aftereffects. 

Wash the Area with Water and Soap

Use soap and water to clean the site. To avoid skin infection, make sure you clean the affected area every day for the next several days.

Apply a Cold Compress to Relieve Swelling and Pain

Cold compresses can be used to reduce pain and inflammation. The cold pack should be applied to the sting for ten minutes, then removed. As a precaution, raise the affected area of your body above the level of your heart.

Take an Antihistamine Like Claritin or Benadryl

If you have an allergic reaction, use an antihistamine such as Benadryl or Claritin. If you have had a severe response to wasp venom in the past, have an EpiPen (epinephrine) on hand. It is the best way to prevent anaphylaxis after being stung. 

Use a Pain Reliever

Motrin (ibuprofen), Advil, or Tylenol (acetaminophen) can be used over the counter to ease the pain.

How to Treat an Anaphylactic Reaction

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and oxygen treatment might be required for a severe allergic response. Ask your doctor about allergen-specific immunotherapy if you have experienced allergic responses to wasp venom.

Injecting your body with increasing amounts of wasp venom is known as desensitization. It is a standard treatment for allergy symptoms. Start by injecting yourself weekly for a few months before switching to once every three months as preventive care.

What Are Some Home Remedies for Wasp Stings?

The majority of wasp sting responses can be treated at home. Treating a sting at home entails following these guidelines:

To remove as much venom as possible, thoroughly wash the sting site with soap and water. A cold pack can help decrease swelling and discomfort around the incision. To avoid infection, keep the wound clean and dry. Then apply a bandage to the wound.

Hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion can relieve itching and skin irritation. Baking soda and colloidal oatmeal can be used in baths or medicinal skin treatments to soothe the skin. Wasp stings can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen.

Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine can also help reduce itchiness. Take all drugs precisely as prescribed to prevent unpleasant side effects like nausea or sleepiness.

If it has been more than ten years since your last tetanus vaccine, you might want to consider obtaining one as soon as possible after the sting.


Another suggested home cure for wasp stings is vinegar. According to the hypothesis, the vinegar’s acidity can neutralize the alkalinity of wasp stings.

Place a cotton ball soaked in apple cider or white vinegar on the sting and let it soak in for a few minutes. Then, to alleviate swelling and discomfort, apply mild pressure to the affected area. It is okay to keep the cotton ball on your skin for a while.

Other Remedies

There are also a few home cures that might help ease a wasp sting.

Add one tablespoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to a pint of water and mix well.

It is possible to alleviate pain by making and putting a paste of meat tenderizer to the sting, which neutralizes the venom. If you do not have baking soda or meat tenderizer in the home, you can quickly whip up other mixtures.

Itching and irritation can be alleviated by applying a little apple cider vinegar diluted 50/50 with water on the sting.

Aloe vera gel should be used immediately on bug bites and stings since they can create a histamine response in the region. As a result of the gel’s natural salicylates and suppression of histamine synthesis, it is both an antibacterial agent and an anti-inflammatory.

On the other hand, the anti-inflammatory qualities of oatmeal make it a good skin defender and soothing agent for itchy stings.


Many different types of reactions are possible in response to being washed, including anything from hives to difficulty breathing. Fortunately, most wasps only strike when threatened. As a result, you should not be concerned as long as you do not irritate them or go anywhere near their hive.

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