The perils of enjoying the outdoors in this glorious weather can take the form of a pesky wasp and its painful sting.
Soap star Ross Kemp recently thanked the NHS for treating him after he accidentally stumbled upon a wasp nest and was stung numerous times on his face, causing his nose and mouth to swell up.
Insect bites or stings often cause a red, swollen lump to develop on the skin which can be painful or very itchy. A mild allergic reaction can cause a larger swelling around the sting, which should heal within a week.
A severe allergic reaction, in the case of Kemp, can result in breathing difficulties, difficulties in swallowing, dizziness and a swollen face or mouth, which requires immediate medical attention.
Here's what to do if you've been stung – and do not require medical attention – as advised by the NHS:
- Remove the sting if it's still in the skin – the best ways to do this is to scrape it out sideways using a bankcard or your fingernails – don't use tweezers or pinch with your fingers, as this could spread the venom
- Clean the affected area with soap and water
- Ice can reduce swelling, as the cold temperature slows down the blood flow to the sting, so apply a cold compress or ice pack to the wasp sting for 10-20 minutes
- Raise or elevate the affected area if possible as this can reduce swelling
- Don't aggravate or scratch the sting to reduce the risk of infection – if a child has been stung, the NHS suggests keeping their fingernails short and clean
- Avoid homemade remedies such as vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, as they are unlikely to help
- To relieve pain or discomfort, take paracetamol or ibuprofen. Speak to a pharmacist about medicines that can help, such as painkillers, and antihistamines
If you're concerned about a sting or bite, contact your GP or call NHS 111.
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