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Allergies to Insect Stings - Topic Overview

Other treatment

If you or your child has severe reactions, your doctor may prescribe an epinephrine shot, such as an EpiPen, that you keep with you or your child at all times. Teach others, such as teachers, friends, or coworkers, what to do if you're stung and how to give the shot. Also, be sure to wear a medical alert bracelet or other jewelry that lists your allergies. During an emergency, these can save your life.

You may also want to try allergy shots, called immunotherapy, to help prevent worse allergic reactions in the future.

Preventing stings

To reduce your chances of being stung:

  • Stay away from places where insects nest.
  • Wear shoes, long sleeves, and long pants when you are outdoors.
  • Don't wear perfume or scented lotions.

If you are stung, stay as calm and quiet as you can. Then move away from the insect and leave the area, because the nest may be close by.

Remove the stinger from your skin. It may be best to scrape or flick the stinger off your skin—squeezing or gripping the stinger to pull it out may inject more venom into your wound. If you were stung in your arm or leg, lower it to slow the spread of venom. Then treat the insect sting based on the type of reaction you have.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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