There’s no getting around it, wasp stings hurt! If you’re reading this article, I know you’re anxious to get right to the goods and find some pain relief quickly. I’m confident there’s a solution here.
Before Getting Started:
Check to see if the stinger remained in the skin. It’s uncommon for an angry wasp to leave one behind because it’s capable of stabbing again and again…but check to make sure. You can remove it by gently scraping it out with a plastic credit card.
This is job #1 before doing anything else since it helps protect from infection and prevents more venom releasing.
Wash with soap and water then move on to one of the treatments below.
Ice: Place a cold pack or ice cube on it and administer pressure for about 20 minutes, this will help reduce pain and swelling that will occur. Take care to protect the skin by first covering ice with a thin washcloth or paper towel.
Pastes: Two different kinds you can make, mix water with either baking soda or table salt. Apply directly to wound and allow to dry. The consistency should be on the thicker side, you don’t want it to run off.
Acid Compress: Soak a small cotton pad with one of three things 1) Apple Cider Vinegar; 2) Vinegar; 3) Lemon Juice. Cover wound and hold with some gentle pressure. The acid content neutralizes the venom. A slice of lemon will also do the trick and provides enough acid as well.
Garlic: Smash a clove of garlic, smother over bite then cover with a bandaid.
Fresh Food Slices: Cut a piece of onion or raw potato or cucumber then apply the fleshy/juicy side directly to wound and hold there until no more discomfort.
Olive Oil: Gently rub into sore spot for relief and to help with healing.
Poultice: Crush 1 clove garlic then mix in 1/2 tsp salt. Smear over wound and wrap with a bandage.
Marigolds: Rub the flower head of a marigold over sore (must be a freshly picked marigold and not dried).
Basil: Roughly crush a fresh leaf or two to release the herb’s natural oils and press directly onto bite, hold in place.
Winter Savory: Crush the leaves roughly to release the herb’s oils then administer.
Aloe Vera: Split open a leaf and slather the aloe gel directly to the wound (from How To Heal With Aloe Vera Plants).
Plantain: Chop roughly and mix with a bit of warm water or chew a leaf or two to macerate it.
- Both topical and oral antihistamines (such as Benadryl or Claritin) can be effective in reducing swelling and itching.
- Calamine lotion can be administered to help calm things and relieve itching.
- A paste made with Epsom salts and water can provide relief.
- Old Timers Cure: Chew tobacco a bit to wet it first then wrap with a strip of cloth to hold in place.
- Old Timers: Mix dirt with water or saliva to make a mud then apply to wound, is quite soothing.
- Old Wives Tale: Press a penny on top and hold in place for 10 to 15 minutes until there is no more discomfort.
Tip: Keep the skin clean with soap and water to prevent an infection (wash regularly for several days). You can also sterilize with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
A normal reaction is to experience pain, burning, itchiness and redness. Soreness will last for a few hours then should disappear. If hands or fingers are getting swollen, remove rings immediately. Protect from bumps and avoid rubbing.
Although wasp stings can really hurt and some puffiness will develop, this is a common reaction. However, some people do have a serious allergy to the venom and in these cases, death can occur.
If the following occurs, seek medical attention:
- If it stung inside nose or mouth (the swelling will affect breathing).
- If you were stung several times by many wasps.
- Wheezing or if breathing becomes difficult or seems to have been affected.
- It becomes hard to swallow.
- Tongue begins to grow in size.
- Blurry vision.
- Speech is slurred or find it difficult to talk.
- Hives or a rash appears (especially if it’s away from the bite).
- If it swells alarmingly large.
As with unwanted attention from bees, if the reaction seems severe (especially if breathing is affected), don’t hesitate to call medical emergency services as the victim may be experiencing an allergic reaction that can trigger anaphylactic shock.
Did You Know: Do they bite or do they sting? They sting, but female yellow jackets are especially aggressive and will sometimes bite victims too.
Please Note: These treatments are from my collection of remedies, none of them are intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. This information is provided for general knowledge purposes only.