Summer is almost here and it's a good idea to learn about five first aid tips for a wasp sting just in case you are unfortunate enough to get stung. Most of the time wasp stings are just painful and annoying, but don't lead to permanent damage. If you find yourself with a wasp stinger embedded in your skin, these five first aid tips for wasp stings that will help you minimize the overall impact and discomfort associated with the sting.
To treat a wasp sting you will need:
- Access to soap and water
- A mild antiseptic
- Credit card, driver's license, or other object with a stiff edge
- Ice or cold packs
If the stinger remains embedded in your skin, you must remove it quickly. A stinger will continue to inject venom into your body for up to twenty minutes after a sting if it isn't removed. Using a credit card, driver's license, or other similar object with a stiff edge, scrap flatly across the stinger to remove it from your skin. Do not use tweezers to remove a wasp stinger. If you squeeze the venom sac with the tweezers, you will inject all of the venom at once, which makes the sting much worse. Stingers are usually scraped away easily once they have been identified.
Wash the area where you were stung gently with mild soap and water. Be gentle as you wash the area and use lukewarm water. Pat the area dry with a soft cloth or towel and avoid rubbing the area as this may inflame or irritate the area more.
Apply a mild antiseptic to the sting after the area has been washed. This will further reduce any chances of future problems from contaminated skin surrounding a sting. Any time the skin has been broken, there is a potential for infection, so it's better to be safe than sorry.
- Apply ice or a cold pack to the sting. Wrap an ice pack in a small cloth or towel and place it on the effected area for ten minutes. Follow a cycle of ten minutes on and ten minutes off immediately following the sting. This will help to reduce pain and swelling in addition to slowing the absorption of venom.
- Take an over-the-counter antihistamine to lessen the impact of your body's reaction. This will help people that experience mild and localized allergic reactions and will help to avoid a worse reaction. Antihistamine creams are also helpful and reduce pain and itching associated with wasp stings.
Implementing these five first aid tips for wasp stings immediately following the sting will lessen the pain and discomfort you experience. If you experience hives, difficultly breathing, or experience swelling of your face, lips, or throat following a sting, seek medical attention immediately by calling 911.