A local reaction or generalized reaction can be treated with an oral antihistamine like Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®). If you have had larger or more serious previous reactions, you may have prednisone available (only available by prescription). If the reaction is progressing, you should seek help in the emergency room or contact 911. You should carry epinephrine with you at all times if you have experienced a previous life-threatening reaction. Most people with stinging insect allergies carry epinephrine in the form of an Epi-pen® when outdoors. If a reaction is serious, you may need to use the Epi-pen® and seek medical help.
Placing creams and ointments on the skin may help soothe the area, but nothing will stop the reaction like an oral antihistamine.
If you have suffered a life threatening reaction, you should see an allergist who can skin test you and determine your reaction to different stinging insects. If your skin test results are positive, you may be a candidate for immunotherapy (allergy injections). This will help protect you from another serious reaction. The injections are first given weekly and then rapidly spread out to once every six weeks. After five years, most individuals are done with their injections. Sometimes an allergist will offer Rush Immunotherapy: you will receive many injections in one day and you will not need to return weekly for the build up phase.
Carrying Epi-pens® are very important for anyone who has suffered a life threatening reaction.
An allergist is trained to treat and manage insect stings. If you have had a serious reaction you should see an allergist to discuss your reaction to the insect sting.
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