Wasp sting: what are the risks and how to react?

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A lunch on the grass, a barbecue in the park, a dinner under the stars… They find all the good occasions to bite us. In most cases, the wasp sting causes a mild, mild inflammatory reaction and then goes away quickly. She can sometimes be the subject of an allergy. More rarely, it can be fatal. A 52-year-old vacationer has succumbed to a wasp sting on the tongue.

Wasp sting: what are the first symptoms?

A hymenoptera sting instantly results in severe pain, more or less manageable depending on the stung. Then follows a series of symptoms. The area affected by the bite may then swell and form a small lump. The latter can be the cause of itching, like the buttons of mosquitoes or bedbugs.

Wasp sting: how to react?

To relieve the pain caused by these insects, there are tips and tricks you should know.

  • Remove the venom. Unlike its cousin the bee, which loses its sting during the sting, the wasp injects venom into it. Thermolabile, the latter must be extracted from the victim’s body by a venom pump or by exposing it to a heat source (such as a hairdryer or a lighter). Care should be taken not to burn the exposed area.
  • Disinfect the wound. Once the venom has been removed, the wound should be disinfected quickly using a disinfectant, soap and water or apple cider vinegar. The goal? Avoid any risk of superinfection.
  • Relieve the wound with ice cubes. If the pain becomes too intense, ice cubes can be placed in a washcloth and left on. Cold is the best anesthetic.
  • Using grandmother’s remedies. In some cases (and not only in some), granny’s miracle recipes have proven their worth. To reduce the pain, many of them recommend that we apply apple cider vinegar to the wound, soaking it on a cotton ball. Lemon slice, halved garlic clove and onion slice will also relieve the wound effectively. It is also quite possible to apply a drop of essential oil of lavender aspic (Lavandula latifolia) on the bite to relieve it. Be careful, this oil is prohibited for pregnant women and children under 8 years old and it is contraindicated for people with asthma and epilepsy.
  • Ingest painkillers. In case of acute pain, a pain reliever such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can be swallowed. It is also possible to apply a cream or a corticosteroid cream.

The severity of the bite also and especially depends on the area bitten. It will obviously be less risky on the arm or leg than in the mouth or throat. A puncture on a mucous membrane such as the tongue results in maximum urgency. To prevent the victim from choking, it is therefore better to go to the emergency room.

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What to do in case of allergy to wasp stings?

In people with allergies, the sting is of varying severity. In milder cases, the allergy manifests as a skin reaction (hives or swelling). In this case, a first aid kit with injectable adrenaline syringe, antihistamine and oral corticosteroid, is enough to avoid the risks. If the symptoms worsen (breathing problems, asthma attack, etc.), you must immediately contact the SAMU (15).

Wasp stings and pregnant women: should you worry?

Pregnancy is not an aggravating factor. The symptoms will be the same. However, the treatments will be different: no injection or ingestion of drugs without medical advice.

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