Of the thousands of varieties of caterpillars that exist, only a few carry venomous spines. Should you encounter one of these hairy caterpillars, take care not to touch it; the venom can cause unpleasant symptoms, including burning, itching, headaches, swelling and even difficulty breathing. In the event of a sting, there are only a few topical treatments to relieve the symptoms. Seek medical attention if the symptoms are severe or if you experience trouble breathing.
Things You'll Need
- Tape, peel-off facial mask or white hobby glue
- Soapy water
- Ice pack
- 1 Tablespoon of baking soda
- Topical antiseptic creams
Apply office or duct tape, a facial mask that peels off or white hobby glue to the affected area and gently pull it off (wait for the mask and glue to dry first). This will help to remove broken spines. Washing with soapy water will also help to remove spines and venom.
Apply an ice pack to the area to reduce swelling. You can also mix 1 tbsp. of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. Apply it to the sting to reduce swelling.
Apply topical antiseptic creams to reduce pain and itching.
Tips & Warnings
- Antihistamines and over-the-counter pain killers won't relieve the symptoms or pain (including headaches). If the symptoms are severe, seek medical attention.
- The very young and very old, or those who display severe allergic reactions, need to be given immediate medical attention.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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