Insect stings and bites

The stings of bees, wasps and hornets are poisonous, while mosquito bites are more of a nuisance than a threat.

Overview

The stings of bees, wasps and hornets are poisonous, while mosquito bites are more of a nuisance than a threat. Allergy to an insect’s poison and stings to the neck or lips and in the mouth is dangerous. Some insect stings can transmit diseases.

Symptoms

Main symptoms

  • Skin redness
  • Swelling
  • Itching, burning
  • Pain

Other symptoms

  • Allergy to the insect's poison (can be life-threatening)
  • Infectious disease transmitted by insect bites (e.g. malaria)

Causes and treatment

Causes

  • Mosquitoes
  • Wasps, bees
  • Hornets
  • Bumblebees

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Draw a circle around the red /swollen area
    • This makes it easier to see if it’s growing bigger
Possible therapies
  • Remove the sting (bee sting)
  • Antihistamine medication for strong skin reaction (redness, swelling)
  • Rarely, adrenaline for severe allergic reaction

What can I do myself?

  • Carefully cool the sting or bite
  • Persons who know that they are allergic to insect poison should always have emergency medication on hand
  • Use insect repellent lotion or spray
  • Insect screens for windows, mosquito nets for beds

When to see a doctor?

  • Bee, wasp or hornet stings to the neck or lips and in the mouth
  • Allergic reaction
  • Severe swelling around the sting, in the face or neck
  • Skin redness over whole body
  • Fever
  • Problems with breathing or circulation (heart palpitations, dizziness, feeling of weakness)

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Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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