BuzzFeed Life reached out to two insect-sting allergy experts and fellows of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet, who runs Family Allergy & Asthma Care in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Dr. Clifford Bassett, founder of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York, to find out.
“Just because your lip swells up so big, it doesn’t mean you’re allergic. It’s reacting like any part of your body when stung by a bee or wasp, it’s just more visible because it’s your face,” Eghrari-Sabet says. As for first-aid, she suggests carefully removing the stinger if you can, applying ice, and taking an antihistamine like Benadryl or Allegra to help with the swelling.
“If the reaction goes past where you were stung, you might have a severe allergic reaction, or ‘anaphylaxis’. This can include swelling of additional areas of your body where you weren’t stung such as the eyes and neck, itchiness, hives, difficulty breathing and swallowing, and even loss of consciousness,” says Eghrari-Sabet. If you experience any of these, you should go to the hospital for treatment and an epinephrine autoinjector (EpiPen).
Fortunately, this is very rare. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, only 3% of adults in the United States will have a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction to insect stings.
And try to be extra careful when you’re outside this summer.
You can read the whole post on BuzzFeed Life: 7 People Who Learned The Hard Way Why You Shouldn’t Mess With Bees.