After an insect sting, a small bite site skin reaction with swelling, redness and itching is expected and normal. A more severe large local swelling can occur at bite site and can be managed medically on an as needed basis. However if there is a systemic reaction, when there are generalized hives, difficulty breathing, wheezing, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, it can be dangerous and life threatening. Several types of insects may cause this reaction. Those are bee, wasp, hornet and fire ant. A systemic reaction after an insect sting necessitates a visit to an allergist who would evaluate for a desensitization program to prevent this type of dangerous reactions from happening. If you develop severe allergy to insect sting, your physician would also advise you to carry an epinephrine autoinjector and get yourself familiar with an allergy action plan in case you got stung again. Allergy action plan is a self-instructed plan to use of different allergy medications based on the severity of your allergy symptoms. It trains you get familiar with when only antihistamine is enough and when you should apply an epinephrine autoinjector.
If you or your family develop severe allergic reactions after a suspected insect sting, please come for a discussion to see how we could help. Below are services and procedures we offer at Texas Allergy for this condition.