Baytown Office 281-837-8371

Insect Stings


Although insect stings can be irritating, symptoms usually begin to disappear by the next day and don't require treatment by a doctor.  However, people who are highly allergic to insect stings may have life-threatening symptoms and may require emergency treatment.

 What to Do:

  1. If stung by a honeybee, wasp, hornet, or yellow jacket, and the stinger is visible, remove it by gently scraping the skin horizontally with the edge of a credit card or your finer nail.
  2. Wash the area with soap and water.
  3. Apply ice or a cool wet cloth to the area to relieve pain and swelling.
  4. If the area is itchy, apply a paste of baking soda and water, or calamine lotion (do not apply calamine lotion to the face or genitals).

Call a doctor if:

  • There's swelling or redness beyond the sting site
  • The site looks infected (increasing redness, warmth, swelling, pain, or pus occurring several hours or longer after the sting)

Seek emergency medical care if:

  • Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction begin to show
  • The sting is anywhere in the mouth
  • You have a known severe allergy to a stinging insect
  • Injectable epinephrine was used

 Think Prevention!

  • Avoid: walking barefoot while on grass; using scented soaps, perfumes, or hair spray; dressing in bright colors or flowery prints; areas where insects nest or congregate; and drinking from soda cans.  Also make sure that: outside garbage cans have tight-fitting lids; there are no stagnant pools of water (in rain gutters, flower pots, birdbaths, etc.); and food is covered when eating outside.

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