Wasp stings are quite common, especially during the summer months. A wasp sting can be rather nasty and painful leading to extreme discomfort, though not very harmful. The pain and irritation are often quite unbearable with no long-term effects to worry about.
A wasp sting is similar to a bee sting or a hornet sting, while the stinger of a bee is left firmly embedded in the body, the wasp’s stinger does its job and remains intact for the next attack. There is a bit of venom that is injected into the body via the stinger, which causes irritation and pain.
Common Wasp Stings: A common wasp sting is not considered dangerous and can be treated with home based remedies. If the pain and irritation persist, or the swelling does not subside even after applying the listed natural remedies, it is vital to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Venomous Wasp Stings: While most wasp stings are more painful than harmful, there have been instances where people have gone into prolonged anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening. However, such cases are quite rare and not a cause for concern.
It is important to seek immediate treatment if you experience severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. However, the home remedies for wasp stings work the best if the reaction is mild. Before you try any of these remedies learn something more about wasp stings.
Symptoms of a Wasp Sting
- Sharp pain in the bitten area
- Redness, Itching, irritation and swelling
- Formation of a lumpy welt surrounding the sting site
- Itching in other parts of the body (away from the sting site)
- Stinging or burning sensation in the affected area
Symptoms for Anaphylaxis
- Swelling (at times severe) of throat, lips and entire face
- Itching in other parts of the body
- Breathlessness, leading to bouts of wheezing or gasping
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Sharp drop in blood pressure
- Losing consciousness
- Sense of nausea or vomiting
- Diarrhea and stomach cramps
- Irregular pulse (weak or racing)
8 Home Remedies For Wasp Stings
Before you apply any of the listed remedies, make sure you follow the below mentioned:
Do This First:
The first thing to do immediately after a wasp stings is to remove the sting embedded in the skin using a pair of tweezers. Although a little venom might already have been injected into the bloodstream, you can still prevent all of it from entering the bloodstream.
Next, wash the affected area gently with soap (preferably antiseptic) and water. Dab the area with dry surgical cotton and apply either antiseptic ointment or calamine lotion, which can ease the itching and pain.
8. Ice Pack
- Get a handful of ice cubes from the fridge
- Tie up the ice cubes in a piece of soft muslin cloth
- Gently hold the ice pack against the affected area for a few minutes
- Repeat the process every few hours until the swelling and pain subside
How Does This Work?
There is bound to be a bit of bleeding in the underlying tissue, which is responsible for the pain and swelling. Ice helps in reducing the body’s response to the sting. Apart from reducing bleeding into the tissues, it helps in controlling the inflammation (swelling), and it helps in reducing the muscle pain and spasms, if any.
An ice pack helps in preventing the affected area from stiffening up as it reduces the excess tissue fluid by preventing its accumulation that collects around the area of the sting. Although ice packs have been used as home remedies for ages, a new school of thought does not quite agree. Placing an ice pack causes temporary numbness in the area, which gives instant relief from the pain and burning sensation caused by a wasp sting.
The Remedy Is Not Good, If:
- The wasp sting is venomous, or it is causing the person to go into anaphylactic shock. This condition requires immediate medical assistance and treatment.
- You are applying ice directly on the skin. It can cause frostbite and subsequent damage to the skin. Wrap it in a towel.
7. Baking Soda
- Sprinkle a bit of water on 1 teaspoon of baking soda and make a paste.
- Gently apply the paste on the sting site and leave it for a few minutes (5 to 10 min).
- Gently wash the affected area with warm water.
- If the pain and swelling persist, repeat the process after a few hours.
How Does This Work?
Baking soda is a great home remedy and can be used by anyone safely for treating wasp stings. A mild alkaline chemical in baking soda has a neutralizing effect on the venom, which is acidic in nature. Baking soda provides instant relief from the severe pain and soothes the persistent itching. Baking soda also helps reduce the swelling rapidly.
The Remedy Is Not Good, If:
You have an extremely sensitive skin. It can cause damage.