Bee and Wasp Sting (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Insect stings overview
- What are the types of wasps?
- What are the types of bees?
- What are causes of bee and wasp stings?
- What are the symptoms of a bee or wasp sting?
- When should I call a doctor about a bee or wasp sting?
- How is a bee or wasp sting diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for a bee or wasp sting?
- What are the complications of a bee or wasp sting?
- How can I prevent a bee or wasp sting?
- Bee and Wasp Sting At A Glance
What are the complications of a bee or wasp sting?
Complications can include the development of infection at the sting site requiring treatment with antibiotics. Systemic allergic reactions can be life-threatening, as discussed above.
How can I prevent a bee or wasp sting?
You can take preventive measures to decrease your chance of being stung by an insect. Effective prevention tips include the following:
- Avoid, and do not disturb, hives and nests
- When participating in outdoor activities, avoid
- Wear long sleeves and long pants outdoors
- Do not walk barefoot outdoors
- Do not swat at swarming bees or wasps
- Exercise caution around fruit trees and blooming
- Keep garbage away from outdoor activity areas
Bee and Wasp Sting At A Glance
- Bees and wasp stings may produce local reactions or
systemic (body-wide) allergic reactions.
- Localized pain, redness, and swelling are the most
common reaction to a sting.
- Severe allergic reactions to stings are known as
anaphylactic reactions and may be life-threatening.
- Treatment of a local reaction involves cleansing,
removal of the stinging apparatus if present, and application of ice packs.
- Epinephrine is the treatment of choice for severe
- A self-administered injectable form of epinephrine is available for individuals at risk for anaphylactic reactions.
Last Editorial Review: 4/29/2009
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