Localized Wasp Sting Reaction
Most people will experience a localized reaction to a wasp sting, which will include redness and swelling. The pain will usually subside within a few hours and ice or a cool compress placed on the site will help to reduce the swelling. If your doctor has cleared you to take antihistamines, an over the counter antihistamine, such as Benadryl, may also help to reduce the swelling.
Quick folk remedies may also help to reduce the pain and swelling. Try a paste made by mixing meat tenderizer and water, baking soda, and water, or rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab.
Systematic Wasp Sting Reaction
Atypical swelling of the wasp sting site is not normal. Even if a person has received multiple bee stings in the past with no complications, every new bee sting has the potential to cause a different reaction depending on how the immune system reacts to the different venoms.
An estimated 3% of the population will experience a systematic reaction to a bee sting. In these instances, the victim will experience reactions not associated with the sting site, which can include swelling in a different area of the body, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If any of these reactions occur, contact your health care provider.
Anaphylactic Wasp Sting Reaction
In less than 1% of bee sting incidences, the victim will experience anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction that can result in anaphylactic shock or death. Seek emergency medical attention if the bee sting victim experiences any difficulty breathing.
“Anaphylaxis Definition.” MedTerms. Medicinenet.com, n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=10935.
Conrad Stoppler MD, Melissa. “Bee Sting Treatment.” Medicinenet.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2010. www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=62369.