I was stung by red ants on my right leg. Swelling and joint pain set in. It has been 4 weeks and not cleared up. What can I do and how long will this condition last?

Red ants, also known as fire ants, are widely considered to be the more dangerous members of the ant family and do not really bite, but sting their prey. They will attack the individual using a pair of pinchers in order to attain a tight grip over the particular area. This then allows them to sting you from their abdomen with which they inject a toxic venom known as solenopsin into your system. While they hold on to the skin with their pinchers, they will turn around in a circle and continuously sting you – making that one welt you notice on your skin actually the result of 10 stings. Although fire ant bites do not cause death or are not even considered to be remotely life threatening, being bitten by a swarm can have very painful results. Moreover, the amount of discomfort caused by a fire ant bite could cause a substantial amount of interference with the way you carry out your daily schedule. While developing an allergic reaction to a fire ant sting is not very common, some individuals do suffer from it. Some of the more common symptoms that you will experience when affected by an allergic reaction to a fire ant bite include a swelling in the throat or face in addition to the inflammation of the area around the bite, a build up of anxiety or restlessness, an increased pulse rate or even, in the more severe cases, difficulty in breathing.

Under normal circumstances, the inflammation that results from the sting of fire ants would take not more than a day or two to disappear. However in your case, the swelling and joint pain is indicative of an allergic reaction that has taken place. This reaction could be a result of another underlying medical condition which may have been triggered as a result of the ant sting. Either ways, it is essential that you visit your local family doctor in person and have a few medical tests carried out. This would help to more effectively diagnose the condition that you may be suffering from as it would narrow down the possible treatment options available as well as significantly decrease the amount of time you take to recover from the problem.  You could also try creating a thick paste of baking soda with water and apply it over the affected area to experience almost immediate relief. The application of aloe vera gel is also highly regarded for its skin soothing properties.

answered by G M

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