You or your child can be allergic to insect stings, like many other people in the United States. When someone with an insect sting allergy is bitten by an insect, the toxins can cause you to have an immunological reaction due to allergens in the sting.
Normal Vs. Allergic Reaction to Insect Stings
Symptoms such as pain, redness, swelling, and itching are normal after being stung by an insect. Abnormal reactions include swelling that affects an entire part of the body, pain, and swelling that refuses to go away after 48 hours, and in extreme cases, hives, nausea, and vomiting. Anaphylaxis can also occur, which is a life-threatening reaction that causes trouble breathing.
If you suspect that you have had an allergic reaction to stinging insects, it is not always a guarantee that you will continue to get mild reactions. Your body could launch a stronger response.
How to Respond to a Stinging Insect Allergy
You cannot avoid singing insects all the time, such as bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and fire ants. So let’s talk about how you can treat an allergic reaction to an insect sting.
For a mild reaction, move to a safe area to avoid getting stung by more insects. Next, try to remove the stinger and wash the area with soap and water. To reduce pain and swelling, keep the affected limb raised and ice the area for 20 minutes, and repeat every hour or so. Apply hydrocortisone (a steroid) or calamine lotion (anti-itch cream) on the affected area to control redness, itchiness, and swelling. Also, take an antihistamine to help get the symptoms under control. Symptoms should begin to improve within a day or two. If they don’t, it’s time to have it checked by a doctor.
A severe reaction requires immediate medical treatment. An allergist can help you identify signs of a severe allergic reaction and teach you how to act in order to prevent a fatal outcome. Regardless, you should always call 911.
A severe stinging insect allergy typically causes hives, which are itchy, raised welts, and swelling of the tongue or an entire body part, plus nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing and wheezing, confusion, feeling lightheaded, and clammy skin are all signs of anaphylaxis — a life-threatening allergic reaction. Treatment for a severe insect sting allergy involves the use of an epinephrine auto-injector, commonly known as an EpiPen or Auvi-Q. It requires training to know how to properly use this medication, which an allergy doctor can do.
Stinging Insect Allergy Treatment in Northeast Illinois
Do not risk your and your child’s life by neglecting preparation for the next stinging insect allergy attack. At Oak Brook Allergists, our physicians are board-certified allergists highly experienced in helping adult and pediatric patients manage their allergies. We treat not just insect sting allergies, but also environmental, food, and pet allergies. For patients with stinging insect allergies, we usually recommend venom immunotherapy, which is proven to be very effective in preventing a severe reaction to stinging insects.
Oak Brook Allergists is proud to serve northeast Illinois and have clinics in Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Naperville, and Plainfield. To schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified allergists, call us today at (630) 574-0460 or use our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you and your child live safely and fully with allergies.