How to Treat Wasp Bites

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Wasps sting as a means of defense.
Wasps sting as a means of defense. (Image: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Like bees, wasps inject venom by stinging their victims. A wasp’s venom is poisonous and can cause injury to its victim’s body and the body may swell in an effort to rid the blood of the venom. According to WebMD, wasps are one of the insects whose stings are most likely to cause medical problems including allergic reactions and infection at the site of the sting. Provide appropriate treatment as soon as possible if you fall victim to a wasp sting to avoid serious complications.

Things You'll Need

  • Credit card or item with straight edge
  • Soap and water
  • Towel
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Ice pack or cold compress
  • Antihistamine (optional)
  • Ibuprofen or other pain reliever (optional)

Scrape the affected area gently with the credit card to remove the stinger. Do this as soon as possible, even if you cannot immediately continue the remainder of the treatment.

Wash the site of the sting carefully with soap and warm water. Pat the area dry.

Apply the antibiotic ointment to the area. Follow the medication’s dosage and use instructions.

Place the cold compress on the area. Leave the compress in place for 20 minutes and remove it. Repeat this every hour until the swelling goes down.

Take the antihistamine as needed if you experience itching or a rash. Take the pain reliever if you feel pain. Follow both medications’ dosage and use instructions.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make an appointment for a booster shot as soon as possible if you have not received a tetanus shot in more than 10 years.
  • Seek medical treatment if you were stung in the mouth, throat or on the eye or have multiple stings.
  • Consult a doctor if you experience a severe reaction such as a rash all over the body or breathing problems.
  • Consult a doctor if you are allergic to wasps or have experienced a severe reaction from a wasp or bee sting in the past.

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