Allergic reaction after insect bite | Gesundheit-Aktuell.de

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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A dangerous time begins now, especially for those who are allergic to insect venom. This is mainly because many people are initially unaware of their allergy, as it often only develops over the years. A single bee or wasp sting can be fatal for allergy sufferers.

Tips to protect yourself from bees and wasps

  • Avoid boisterous and hasty movements near insects and do not slide them
  • Keep away from blooming flowers, overripe fruits and trash containers
  • Be careful when gardening! Cover as much of your body as possible (long pants, long sleeves, hat)
  • Avoid baggy, black clothing and colorful floral patterns
  • Avoid perfumes and scented care products
  • If possible, avoid eating and drinking outside, especially sweet foods and drinks
  • Don’t leave sweets out when eating out
  • Don’t go barefoot. Bees prefer to stay in clover, while wasps live in holes in the ground
  • Install insect screens on apartment windows
  • If you are allergic to insect venom, always carry an emergency kit with you.

Bees and wasps are defensive animals. To defend themselves, they have a stinging device with which they inject poison into the victim’s skin. Everyone reacts to an insect bite. The body’s normal defense reaction includes temporary, painful swelling and immediate itching and wheal formation around the injection site. If other bites cause general reactions (nausea, headaches, rashes), an allergy to insect venom can be assumed. The allergic reaction is based on an immune system reaction.

The body is initially sensitized by a bite. The body’s own defense cells produce specific immunoglobulin E antibodies against certain protein substances (allergens) in insect venom. These antibodies bind to mast cells, which are full of histamine, among other things. Histamine is the most important substance in allergic reactions. If the bite occurs again, the contact leads to the release of histamine, which triggers allergic reactions and even life-threatening anaphylactic shock. Every allergy is, therefore, an excessive reaction of the immune system to foreign substances. The allergy is usually limited to the venom of one group of insects. For example, bees and hornets belong to one venom group, wasps and hornets to another.

The so-called prick test can clarify whether there is an allergy to insects. Signs of insect bite allergy include immediate and generalized swelling and redness of the skin at the site of the bite, feeling weak and dizzy, sweating, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, burning sensation in the throat and tongue, itchy palms. hands and soles of the feet, nausea, tachycardia and shortness of breath. These reactions usually begin within minutes of the bite. The transition between mild allergic symptoms and a severe anaphylactic reaction is fluid.

The most important measure for treating insect venom allergy is specific immunotherapy, also known as hyposensitization or allergy vaccination. Anyone allergic to insect venom must carry an identity document and an emergency kit with medicines so that they can react after the bite. If you have a serious allergic reaction, see a doctor immediately.

First aid for general allergic reactions after insect bites

  • Stay calm and avoid panic
  • If necessary, remove the stinger with your fingernail or tweezers (the bee’s stinger, which remains in the skin, pumps any remaining venom from the poison sac into the wound, even after it has been separated from the bee)
  • Disinfect the wound
  • Use emergency medication (antihistamines) immediately
  • Reduce swelling with ice or sliced ​​onion
  • Seek medical attention immediately
  • If bitten in the oral cavity, consult a doctor immediately (risk of suffocation).

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