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)

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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