How do I treat the itching and burning and aching of a wasp sting in my hand?

Wasps belong to the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita. Other members of this order include ants, hornets and bees, to name a few. There are more than 25,000 species of wasps that exist around the world and they can be broadly divided into two types, the solitary types and the social types. Solitary wasps are like predators that feed on smaller insects and bring the paralyzed prey back to their nest for their younger ones. The social wasps on the other hand, live in colonies, that could contain anywhere between a dozen to hundreds of social insects. Some of the most common wasps seen include the bald-faced hornets, the yellow jacket wasps and the paper wasp. When a wasp stings a person, one half of its stinger gets embedded into the skin, through which a small amount of venom is injected into the body.

There are various symptoms that are seen as a result of wasp stings. Given below are some of the symptoms of a minor reaction to a wasp sting:

  • Moderate to severe pain at the site
  • Skin hives, in case of venom sensitivity
  • Itching and redness around the sting
  • Swelling
  • Bacterial infection (in rare cases)

Wasp stings can affect a small area or the skin or the entire body. There are several factors that influence the severity of the wasp sting symptoms, the location of the sting, the number of stings as well as the affected person's age, sensitivity, overall health and so on. Given below are some of the symptoms of a severe reaction to a wasp sting:

  • Drop in blood pressure and shock
  • Breathing problems
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Swelling on the face
  • Severe hives and itching all over the body
  • Weakness or fainting
  • Swallowing problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Flushing

In case you do get stung by a wasp, it is imperative that you do not ignore it. While it may not really be a serious problem, you need to keep a watch just to make sure that you do not have an allergic reaction to the sting.


While a wasp sting can be very painful and can trigger off some symptoms like itchiness, swelling, reddening and so on, it is not necessarily a serious problem. Unless you are allergic to wasps, in all probability, you may not even require wasp sting first aid. Therefore, if you ever get stung by a wasp, it is important for you to keep a watch for a while, just to make sure that you do not develop any allergic reactions. In case you are allergic, it is best to go down to a medical facility without any delay and seek professional attention to cure wasp stings. This is also imperative if the sting is around the eye area.

Once you seek traditional cure for wasp stings, it is quite normal for the medical personnel to check your blood pressure, heart rate, pulse and temperature. You may also be examined for any signs of shock or breathing problems. The actual treatment will vary on the severity of your symptoms. Since there is no anti-venom medication available, the medication that is prescribed will mainly be aimed at controlling the allergy and other painful symptoms. Mild painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help you feel more comfortable. You may also be given topical anesthetic ointments to relieve the pain. Several doctors prescribe antihistamines for wasp stings, mainly because the help control the redness, itching and swelling. Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone creams are excellent for reducing the itchiness and swelling on the area that has been stung.

In case there no allergic reactions and if the symptoms are not too severe, then you could just administer wasp sting home care, for relief from the pain and other uncomfortable symptoms.

Home Remedies

Fortunately, most cases of wasp stings are not too serious, which means that you do not necessarily need to visit a doctor. You could administer wasp sting home treatment to deal with some of the minor symptoms quite effectively. However, before trying any wasp sting remedies, it is important for you to get rid of the stinger with the help of a pair of tweezers and then clean the area carefully, with some warm water and an antibacterial soap. Alternately, you could also apply an antiseptic or antibacterial ointment on to the area. Once the stinger has been removed and the area has been cleaned, you could try some wasp sting home remedies to relieve the pain and discomfort.

Ice is an excellent remedy when it comes to curing several minor afflictions, including a wasp sting. You could wrap a few ice cubes in a towel and apply it at the site of the sting for at least 15 minutes. Alternately, any cold compress, or even a bag of frozen vegetables will work just as effectively. Cold therapy not only reduces the pain and swelling, but also slows down the spread of venom in the body. For best results, it is important to ensure that cold therapy is applied on to the affected site once every half hour.

Baking soda is also excellent for relieving itchiness caused by several skin conditions, infections, or insect bites and stings. Therefore, wasp sting treatment with baking soda is highly recommended, for alleviating the painful symptoms. Make a paste using plain baking soda and water and apply it on the area that has been stung. Allow the paste to stay on for a while, till it gets thicker and hardens. Rinse it off with cool water after a while.

In case the symptoms of a wasp sting worsen after using home remedies, it is best to consult a doctor.

Treat wasp sting swelling

It is a fairly well-known fact that a wasp sting triggers off certain symptoms, which includes swelling. Fortunately, there are many ways in which the swelling can be alleviated. Wasp sting treatment for the swelling includes not just medication, but also natural and simple home remedies.

In order to alleviate the swelling, you may be advised to take antihistamines. These medicines prevent allergy symptoms as well as swelling and are usually easily available in most pharmacies. However, some of the side effects that have been associated with antihistamines are drowsiness, headaches, abdominal pain and dryness in the mouth or the eyes. Even if you are taking an over the counter antihistamine, it is important for you to check with your healthcare provider, for the right dosage.

Alternately, in case you would like to avoid antihistamines for any reason, you could opt for topical creams or ointments. These include calamine lotion and hydrocortisone creams, which not only reduce the swelling, but also alleviate the itchiness.

Ice or any cold compress is also regarded as an excellent wasp sting home remedy for swelling. For best results, it is important to apply the ice pack or the cold compress to the area that has been stung for at least 15 minutes. Moreover, this exercise needs to be repeated once every half hour.

Itching on the area of the wasp sting is likely to worsen the symptoms considerably, including the swelling. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you do not scratch the area or even rub it with a towel too hard when applying methods to treat wasp sting and swelling.

answered by G M

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