Insect sting allergy

An insect sting can be poisonous or non-poisonous, and on this basis one can distinguish the reactions to different insect stings. With a wasp or bee sting, the insect leaves poison in the human body. There are people who have an allergy to a bee or wasp sting, and in some cases this can even lead to life-threatening situations. In people who do not have an allergy, a red itchy bump will develop that will disappear after a few days. An allergy to insect stings can manifest itself in different ways and in the worst case it can be life-threatening.

Symptoms after insect sting

An allergy to insect bites or insect stings can result in various symptoms. For example, red bumps may appear all over the body, which itch intensely. The eyelids may also swell, as can the lips and the area around the neck. Due to the swelling around the neck, problems with breathing or swallowing may also occur and this can occur in combination with stomach and intestinal problems, such as nausea and diarrhea. With a life-threatening allergy to an insect sting, blood pressure may drop and eventually unconsciousness will occur. Such an allergic reaction can occur within fifteen minutes after the insect has stung, and action must therefore be taken quickly.

Allergy to wasps

A well-known allergy that can lead to a life-threatening situation is the allergy to wasps. For most people who have developed an allergy to wasps, the allergic reaction is not life-threatening, but can still cause a lot of discomfort. If you have an allergy to wasps, it is important to stay as far away from possible wasps as possible. However, especially in the summer, this is not always possible and people can unexpectedly be confronted with a wasp sting, with all its consequences.

Response to a wasp sting

A wasp sting can cause various reactions, with a local reaction being the most common. After a wasp sting, the sting area is very painful and there may be redness and swelling of the skin. The extent to which the complaints last for a long time depends on the place where the sting occurs. A wasp sting in the throat will cause more problems than a wasp sting on a thigh. In addition to the local reaction, other reactions are also possible, namely a toxic reaction or an allergic reaction. Multiple wasp stings can cause a toxic reaction with symptoms such as headache, stomach and intestinal complaints and fatigue. If there is an allergy to wasps, the physical symptoms are the worst. The symptoms of an allergy to wasps can manifest themselves after a single wasp sting in a painful swelling that can be up to 10 centimeters in diameter. Further complaints may include:

  • Hives
  • Stomach and intestinal complaints such as diarrhea and nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anaphylactic shock

The very first time an individual is stung by a wasp, no allergy has developed. However, the first wasp sting can lead to an allergic reaction with a subsequent wasp sting.


People who are known to have a wasp allergy are always advised to carry a so-called EpiPen to inject adrenaline after a wasp sting. Nowadays there is also a preventive treatment for a wasp allergy and in medical terms this is also called a desensitization treatment. This involves injecting wasp venom into the body in increasing doses over a week, followed by an injection every six weeks for a longer period. In this way, the allergy to wasps can be treated preventively.