When an insect bites, the area generally becomes red, swollen, and burns. However, some people are especially allergic to insect bites. This means that your immune system overreacts to the poison.
If you are allergic to insects, after the first bite, your body produces antibodies called Immune Globulin E (IgE). If it is bitten again by the same insect class, the venom interacts with this specific IgE antibody, and triggers the secretion of substances that cause the allergic reaction.
For a small group of people with a poison allergy, stings can be deadly. This reaction is called anaphylaxis, and symptoms may include two or more of the following reactions: itching and hives, swelling of the throat or tongue, difficulty breathing, dizziness, stomach cramps, nausea or diarrhea. In severe cases, a rapid fall in blood pressure can lead to shock and loss of consciousness.
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and can cause death. If you have these symptoms after an insect bite, consult a doctor urgently. After this treatment, you should request referral to an allergist / immunologist, often called an allergist, to explain how to be safe in the future.
To avoid biting insects, it is important to identify them.
Yellow wasp nests are made with a kind of paper. They are usually underground, but can sometimes be found on the walls of wooden buildings, cracks in masonry or where logs are piled up.
Paper wasp nests are usually made of a paper-like material that forms a circular honeycomb that opens down. The nests are usually located under the eaves, behind the shutters, or in shrubs or piles of wood.
The hornets are usually larger than the vespules. Their nests are gray or brown, in the shape of a soccer ball and a paper material similar to that of the nests of the vespules. Hornets' nests are usually found in high places, on branches of trees, on shrubs, on rooftops or in tree holes.
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Stay away! These insects are more likely to bite if their nests are disturbed, so it is important to destroy the nests around your house.
In the presence of insects that bite, stay calm and move slowly. When outdoors, avoid wearing bright colored clothing and perfume. As the smell of food attracts insects, be careful when cooking, eating or drinking sweet drinks, such as soda or juice. Beware of insects that may be inside sherbets or in canned drinks. Keep food covered until it is time to eat. Wear shoes with covered fingers and avoid walking barefoot. Also, avoid wearing loose clothing that can catch insects between the fabric and the skin.
The following steps can help treat local reactions to insect bites:
- Raise the affected limb and apply a cold compress to reduce inflammation and pain
- Clean the area with mild soap and water to avoid secondary infections; do not blow blisters.
- Use topical steroid creams or ointments or oral antihistamines to relieve itching.
- Consult your doctor if swelling progresses or if the area of the bite appears to be infected
If you have a severe allergy to insects, always carry auto-injectable epinephrine. Learn how and where to self-administer epinephrine, and replace the product before the expiration date of the label.
Remember epinephrine is only a rescue medication, and you should have someone take you to the guard urgently if an insect has stung you. Those with severe allergies may consider wearing a bracelet or necklace that identifies them as having a severe allergy.
Consult your allergist
If you have a serious reaction to a insect sting, ask for an appointment with the allergist. With proper evaluation, your allergist can diagnose the allergy and determine the best form of treatment. In many cases, the treatment of immunotherapy (allergy shots) against insect venom is very effective.
With the corresponding diagnosis, treatment plan and appropriate care, those who have allergies to bites you can feel safer and enjoy when you are outdoors.
Feeling better. Live better.
The allergist / immunologist, often called allergist, is a pediatrician or internist who has at least two additional years of specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of problems such as allergies, asthma, diseases of the immune system , and the evaluation and treatment of patients with recurrent infections, such as diseases of the immune system.
Proper care can make the difference between suffering from an allergic disease and feeling better. By consulting an allergist, you can have an accurate diagnosis, an appropriate treatment plan and information that will help you control your illness.