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Basic First Aid for a Wasp Sting

Basic First Aid for a Wasp Sting

The treatment for a wasp sting will depend on the victim’s reaction to the venom. Young children, the elderly, and those who are already weak or ill are the most vulnerable to anaphylaxis. An allergy to the venom will also increase the severity of the symptoms. Wasp sting first aid should be administered immediately.

Recognizing the Sting and Its Symptoms

The first symptom of a wasp sting is the intense pain caused by the venom. You may feel a burning sensation at the wound site. The pain will be followed by a reddening of the skin around the wound, followed by swelling and itchiness at the site. Multiple stings will increase the severity of these symptoms.

Wasp Stinger Removal

Removal of the stinger is the first priority as it can still inject venom if embedded. Wasp stingers are smooth, unlike the barbed stinger of the bee, so the stinger may not be present. It can be removed by brushing a butter knife or credit card in the opposite direction of the entry. The affected area can be treated once the stinger is removed.

Wasp Sting First Aid

The pain and swelling can be reduced by applying ice to the wound. Wrap the ice in a towel to reduce skin burn and apply for about 10-15 minutes. Follow this by applying a topical antihistamine to the sting to counteract the venom. If a commercial product is not available, a paste of baking soda and water can be used. Vinegar has also been said to work. An oral analgesic, such as Ibuprofen, can be administered for general pain.

Monitor the Wound

Continue to monitor the wound, watching for increased or intense reaction to the sting. Seek medical help immediately if you notice an increase in swelling or redness of the affected area. A professional should treat stings to the throat or mouth as respiratory function could be impaired. This information is not intended to be definitive; therefore, you should call emergency services or consult professional help if major symptoms occur.



“Bee Sting Treatment.” N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2010.

“Bee and Wasp Stings Treatment: First Aid Information for Bee and Wasp Stings.” First Aid Guide and Emergency Treatment Instructions . N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2010.

Mealie, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, Carl A . “Wasp Stings.” eMedicine. WebMD, 17 June 2009. Web. 21 Oct. 2010. <>.

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