Yellow jacket is from the wasp family, having yellow and black markings, hence the name. It is a specie that builds its house underground and on the trees as well. They hunt proteins for food and are used as scavengers to eat insects. A sting from a yellow jacket is extremely painful and may lead to an allergic reaction. A yellow jacket, since it has black and yellow strips, is confused with a honey bee.

Honey bees are found near their hive only; on the other hand, a yellow jacket is found in secluded areas and underground. Unlike the honey bee, a yellow jacket can sting you multiple times. This happens because the honey bees leave their stingers in you while a yellow jacket does not.

A yellow jacket sting is an unpleasant experience, especially when the stung individual is allergic to its venom. This situation is life-threatening. Read on to know more about it and what to do in such a situation.

Why Does A Yellow Jacket Sting Cause A Reaction?

With the help of its stinger, a yellow jacket penetrates through your skin and injects its venom into you. The venom contains multiple components, some of which are allergens like histamines that lead to an allergic reaction.

A yellow jacket is more hostile in nature; when you are infected from its sting, it leaves a chemical mark on you; this radars others to attack. 

Symptoms Of A Yellow Jacket Sting

It is not uncommon to have swelling at the sting site from a yellow jacket. The area goes tender, and redness all around the yellow jacket sting with swelling appears the next day. Pain itchiness might go within a few hours if the reaction is local.

However, in case of a large local reaction from the yellow jacket sting, skin bump, or hive that is about 2 inches in size will subside within 24 hours. The reaction may occur at the site of action or may spread to the arm or leg, whichever the case.

Allergic Reaction Symptoms: 

  • Breakout of skin hives
  • Wheezing or coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Throat tightening
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety

First Aid Treatment for Anaphylactic Shock

First and foremost, call 911 emergency pronto. Do not wait for any remedy to work for a yellow jacket sting; the situation is life threatening and can result in fatality. It is best not to take a chance.

  • Try to search for an epi-pen; people with a known history of anaphylactic shock almost always carry it with them. This pen is an injection containing the drug epinephrine known to reverse allergic response.
  • Help them get on their back, try to stay calm.
  • Raise their feet to 12 inches and cover them up with a sheet or blanket.
  • Make sure they are breathing.
  • Turn their body sideways if they are bleeding or throwing up.
  • Do not give them anything to eat or drink, even medicines, since it can cause choking.
  • Perform CPR if necessary.

Treatment for Yellow Jacket Sting

  • Use of an ice pack for swelling and pain – cold compress or an ice pack on the affected area helps reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain. You can either use a cold towel or wrap ice in a wash cloth and place it on the yellow jacket sting. Works best if left for 20-30 minutes.
  • Medications – histamine is the most common trigger for an allergic reaction, so anti-histamines like Benadryl works well to manage the issue. As soon you take it, the swelling and itching will start subsiding, alleviating pain too.
  • Vinegar – it is an ingredient present in every kitchen. During dire times of yellow jacket sting, you can use vinegar as an astringent to reduce itching.
  • Honey is also a beneficial aid to neutralize the venom from the sting.
  • Dab some ammonia using a cotton ball to reduce the itch.

Final Take Out

It is wise always to keep medical supplies when going out to avoid any unforeseen circumstances. In case of such an unfortunate situation, if you are anywhere near San Ramon, Lathrop or Manteca, rush to San Ramon Urgent Care for prompt treatment. Call in case of any query at 925-361-5959 San Ramon 209-825-5155 Manteca or 209-983-9000 Lathrop.

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