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First Aid 2023

Wast bite: what to do, how long it lasts and symptoms

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Wast bite: what to do, how long it lasts and symptoms
Wast bite: what to do, how long it lasts and symptoms

The wasp sting is usually very uncomfortable as it causes severe pain, swelling and intense redness at the sting site. However, these symptoms are especially related to the size of the stinger rather than the intensity of the venom.

Although these insects may seem more venomous than a wasp, they are not and therefore cause milder symptoms, as the stinger does not stay at the sting site releasing more venom, as in the case of wasps. Thus, there is no need to remove the stinger before starting the treatment.


To relieve symptoms, what you should do is:

  1. Wash the area with soap and water, to avoid the entry of microorganisms through the bite, which can worsen the skin reaction;
  2. Apply a cold compress to the sting site for 5 to 10 minutes. To do this, dip a compress or a clean cloth in ice water, remove the excess water and place it on the area;
  3. Apply an antihistamine ointment for bites, such as Polaramine or Polaryn.

The application of the cold compress can be repeated several times during the day, whenever you feel the need to relieve swelling or pain. The ointment should only be applied 3 to 4 times a day, or according to the manufacturer's instructions.

In most cases, these steps are enough to improve the symptoms and relieve the discomfort caused by the bite in a few minutes, however, if the pain does not improve or the symptoms become more intense, preventing hand movement, for For example, it is very important to go to the hospital, as a serious allergic reaction may be developing, which needs to be treated with more specific remedies.

Generally, the hornet only stings when it feels threatened, so wasp nests that are out of reach usually do not cause any problems.

How long does it take to deflate

In many cases, the swelling of the wasp sting lasts only 1 day, improving greatly after applying the cold compress. However, people who are more sensitive to insect venom may overreact, which causes the swelling to last longer, up to 2 or 3 days.

Although it is more rare, there are also people in whom the swelling can improve and get worse after 2 days of the bite, remaining for up to 7 days. In these situations, in addition to applying a cold compress, you can also keep the bite site higher, especially while sleeping, to speed up recovery.

Symptoms of wasp sting

The symptoms presented after a wasp sting can vary according to each person's sensitivity, but the most common are usually:

  • Intense pain at the bite site;
  • Swelling and redness;
  • Burning sensation on sting;
  • Difficulty moving the site of the bite.

Although the wasp sting causes symptoms that are not dangerous to he alth, there are people who are more sensitive to its venom. In these cases, a more serious allergic reaction, known as an anaphylactic reaction, can arise, which can be identified through symptoms such as very intense itching at the site, swelling of the lips and face, a lump in the throat or difficulty breathing. In these situations, you should immediately go to the hospital or call for medical help to start treatment with corticosteroids and antiallergics.

Learn more about identifying an anaphylactic reaction and how it is treated.

When to go to the hospital

In most cases, wasp stings can be treated at home without major complications. However, it is important to go to the hospital when:

  • Swelling takes more than 1 week to disappear;
  • Symptoms get worse over time;
  • It is very difficult to move the bite site;
  • Swelling of the face or difficulty breathing appears.

Usually, in these cases it is necessary to start treatment with drugs directly into the vein, such as antihistamines, corticosteroids or antibiotics, for example.

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