What to do for insect sting allergy treatment

What to do for insect sting allergy treatment

Anaphylaxis is the result of the immune system, the body’s natural defence system, overreacting to a trigger.

This is often something you’re allergic to, but not always.

Common anaphylaxis triggers include:

In some cases, there’s no obvious trigger. This is known as idiopathic anaphylaxis.


What to do if someone has anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency.

What to do for insect sting allergy treatment

It can be extremely serious if not treated quickly.

If someone has symptoms of anaphylaxis, you should:

  • Call 999 for an ambulance immediately (even if they start to feel better) – mention that you ponder the person has anaphylaxis.
  • Use an adrenaline auto-injector if the person has one – but make certain you know how to use it correctly first.
  • Remove any trigger if possible – for example, carefully remove any stinger stuck in the skin.
  • Lie the person below flat – unless they’re unconscious, pregnant or having breathing difficulties.
  • Give another injection after 5 to 15 minutes if the symptoms do not improve and a second auto-injector is available.

If you’re having an anaphylactic reaction, you can follow these steps yourself if you feel capable to.

Read about how to treat anaphylaxis for more advice about using auto-injectors and correct positioning.

If you’re having an anaphylactic reaction, you can follow these steps yourself if you feel capable to.

Read about how to treat anaphylaxis for more advice about using auto-injectors and correct positioning.


Symptoms of anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis generally develops suddenly and gets worse extremely quickly.

The symptoms include:

There may also be other allergy symptoms, including an itchy, raised rash (hives); feeling or being sick; swelling (angioedema) or stomach pain.


Prevention

A 2012 meta-analysis found that venom immunotherapy is an effective prophylactic treatment against insect bite and sting allergic reactions, and significantly improves the quality of life of people affected by severe insect allergies.[6]


Preventing anaphylaxis

If you own a serious allergy or own experienced anaphylaxis before, it’s significant to attempt to prevent future episodes.

The following can assist reduce your risk:

  1. avoid triggers whenever possible – for example, you should be careful when food shopping or eating out if you own a food allergy
  2. identify any triggers – you may be referred to an allergy clinic for allergy tests to check for anything that could trigger anaphylaxis
  3. carry your adrenaline auto-injector at every times (if you own 2, carry them both) – give yourself an injection whenever you ponder you may be experiencing anaphylaxis, even if you’re not completely sure

Read more about preventing anaphylaxis

Sheet final reviewed: 29 November 2019
Next review due: 29 November 2022

Insect sting allergy is the term commonly given to the allergic response of an animal in response to the bite or sting of an insect.[1] Typically, insects which generate allergic responses are either stinging insects (wasps, bees, hornets and ants[2]) or biting insects (mosquitoes, ticks).

Stinging insects inject venom into their victims, whilst biting insects normally introduce anti-coagulants into their victims.

The grand majority of insect allergic animals just own a simple allergic response – a reaction local to the sting site which appears as just a swelling arising from the release of histamine and other chemicals from the body tissues near to the sting site. The swelling, if allergic, can be helped by the provision of an anti-histamine ointment as well as an ice pack.

What to do for insect sting allergy treatment

This is the typical response for every biting insects and numerous people own this common reaction.

Mosquito allergy may result in a collection of symptoms called skeeter syndrome that happen after a bite. This syndrome may be mistaken for an infection such as cellulitis.

What to do for insect sting allergy treatment

In anaphylactic patients the response is more aggressive leading to a systemic reaction where the response progresses from the sting site around the whole body. This is potentially something extremely serious and can lead to anaphylaxis, which is potentially life-threatening.[3][4]


Epidemiology

The majority of individuals who get a sting from an insect experience local reactions. It is estimated that 5-10% of individuals will experience a generalized systemic reaction that can involve symptoms ranging from hives to wheezing and even anaphylaxis.[1] In the United States approximately 40 people die each year from anaphylaxis due to stinging insect allergy.

Potentially life-threatening reactions happen in 3% of adults and 0.4–0.8% of children.[5]


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What to do for insect sting allergy treatment