Alert

Allergic reaction to a bite or sting

An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system overreacts to an allergen in the venom of a stinging or biting insect. Symptoms include itching, rash, hives, joint swelling, inflammation at or around the site of the sting or bite, trouble breathing, or a severe reaction called anaphylaxis.

Treatment for insect sting allergies depends on how severe the reaction is. Mild local reactions can often be treated with cold packs and medicines for pain, swelling, and itching. An epinephrine shot can treat more serious reactions. A severe reaction (anaphylaxis) is potentially life-threatening and requires emergency care.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Healthwise Symptom Checker Logo

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.