Mild localized itching, swelling, or discomfort requires a call your health care provider for advice.
Worsening of local symptoms over a few days may be evidence of infection at the sting site. Pain, increased swelling and redness, and warmth suggest an infection. Call your health care provider for an appointment the same day.
If you had a reaction in the past, even if you used an epinephrine injection kit for this sting, go immediately to your medical office or hospital emergency department, whichever is closer. Even if you have treated yourself, you still need to be evaluated to make sure that your symptoms are resolving and are not recurring.
Hives or rash or swelling all over your body, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or dizziness or fainting suggest an anaphylactic reaction and require immediate medical attention.
For most insect stings, home care is all that is necessary.
Do not be alarmed if the reaction takes 2-5 days to heal. Continue treatment until all symptoms are gone.
For more severe reactions, self-treatment is not recommended. Call your health care provider or 911, depending on the severity of your symptoms. Do not attempt to drive yourself. If no one is available to drive you right away, call for an ambulance. If you have symptoms of anaphylaxis, here's what you can do while waiting for the ambulance:
Allergy shots (immunotherapy) may be effective in people with severe reactions to certain insect stings.
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