Help! A week ago I was stung by way over 50 yellow jackets. The pain has gone by now but the itching makes me want to rip my skin off. I have tried a number of things to relieve it but nothing works for more than a few minutes. Anyone got any suggestions? Do you know how long this will last?
Anita from Montclair, NJ
I've used this and I used it on my nephew so I know it works: make a paste of meat tenderizer and water. Make the paste kind of thick, put it on the bites, and cover it loosely with gauze to hold it in place. You will be amazed at how well this works. Be sure your meat tenderizer contains "papain"(not sure about the spelling). It's an enzyme found in papaya and it's the thing that makes this work. It's been a long time since we were bitten but I think we itched for a couple of weeks. This remedy will work on most bee stings.
Benadryl might help (the pill/liquid, not the "stick")
Meat tenderizer is supposed to work. Also calamine lotion helps. It's pink and you can get a bottle of it at Walgreen's for a few dollars.
Thanks for your responses... I do not drive... A neighbor went out to get me some meat tenderizer but could not find the kind with papain in it...we are still looking... will give calamine lotion a try...
I have tried Benadryl, Bactine Anteiseptic Anesthetic, Sheffield's Ban Itch, CVS Itch Relief Gel, Cortizone Cream, cool water, ice (which hurts) and a hospital strength spray which is supposed to relieve itch... none work more than a few minutes and then the itching starts slowly and works up to a crescendo. I have these bites on my knees, arms, backs of my hands and various assorted other places. The thought of another week of this is terrible, but I guess I will survive. I just hope this will not make me more sensitive if I am bitten again. TG my face was spared.
Editor's Note: Making a paste of baking soda works, too. Be careful about putting too many different chemicals on them and make sure the stingers are out.
I am allergic to yellow jackets and went through 5 years of desensitization. I didn't go into shock after that, when I later stepped into a nest of them.
I am thinking it might help to go to the doctor and get a hydrocortisone shot like they give for bad poison oak. It will go away then, within a day. You might have it in your blood stream now.
The next time you get stung, this is what I do immediately and it doesn't even leave an itchy bump. I take two Benadryl, and Aleve (for the inflammation) or 2 ibuprofen and put ice on the sting so it doesn't spread the venom.
I was an RN when I was younger but I am not giving medical advise, just talking from my experience.
If you stand in the shower under warm water and direct it on the stings, it will bring the histimine to the surface that causes the itching and it will not itch so badly for awhile.
50 stings from a yellow jacket.
Get to a Doctor.
I'm surprised your able to ask this question.
By no name today (Guest Post) 08/11/2007
I have found that BLISTEX FOR LIPS in the squeeze tube does wonders for many places you can itch. This is not the wax lip balm. This is the white cream that you squeeze out.
Skin, insect bites, MANY, MANY, MANY, PLACES -- BUT NOT IN THE EYES.
It is my wonder medicine!
By Carla (Guest Post) 08/11/2007
I would try Fels-Naptha soap. Lather up, leave on for a bit rinse and from everything else I'm reading about this soap, that should do the trick. You can find it in the laundry aisle at the grocery, or order it online at http://www.soapsgonebuy.com. It has many other uses too. Hope it helps. :-)
By Pat (Guest Post) 08/11/2007
I was stung by a wasp six times. I applied straight household ammonia on a cotton ball and dabbed on the stings. Pain went away immediately. I did use it again when I started to itch and it took away the itching.
My family and I have used household ammonia for all type of insect bites for the past ten years. If you look at some of the anti-itch sticks that you can carry with you, the main ingredient will be ammonia.
I was told to use ammonia by a neighbor who is a chemist. He was from Thailand and told me that when farmers who work the fields get stung, they can't run to a pharmacy for any type of treatment so they urinate on the stings. Sound disgusting but works for them in that part of the world.
I, of course, prefer the ammonia out of the bottle. You should test an area of your skin to check for any type of reactions before trying this. We never had a problem but as we know, everyone is different. Good luck.
By Carla (Guest Post) 08/12/2007
This month, I was bitten by 9 wasps (at once).
I rushed inside, took 2 Benadryl, and laid down a
few minutes. It relieved the discomfort. I later
had redness around the spots, which felt extra
warm, and knots where I was bitten, but no
reaction or discomfort. My home always has
Benadryl close at hand!
By KarenC (Guest Post) 08/13/2007
I've never had that many but as soon as any of my family get stung, we douse a tissue with lemon juice and hold it on the sting until the pain goes away. We may need to re-apply but usually it is gone the first time. Hope this will help you. You must also get the stingers out if they're still there or it will continue to itch.
By Jan Folsom (Guest Post) 08/13/2007
My Mom swears by Anbesol for the initial sting. I'm so allergic that I can't be around them. BUT hot compresses 24 to 48 hours after the sting, will bring down the inflamation and the itching amazingly! That's from an RN at the hospital where I worked, just prior to going into anaphalaxis from the last sting I got. Be very aware that the more you are stung the stronger the possibility of bad reaction!
By stngray (Guest Post) 08/14/2007
First of all, you should call a doctor for that many stings. But, always keep Benadryl caps (otc) and a Benadryl stick around. Take a couple of caps immediately, and dab each bite with the stick. The stick takes the sting right away and keeps it from getting as puffy and painful as it can. If one is allergic to these stings they need an injection from a doctor. The Benadryl advice came from my MD.
By bambi (Guest Post) 08/21/2007
You may not believe this, but (no pun intended) try Preparation H. Keep it out of your eyes. It relieves itching in certain unmentionable areas, why not where you itch elsewhere. Hope you find relief soon.
By SHEREE (Guest Post) 08/31/2007
I am well aware of how frustrating the itch from a yellow-jacket sting can be; I got a single sting on the upper part of my arm over a month ago and I STILL have itching. I sometimes want to rip the skin off. I have tried every available product including a prescription from the doctor, no luck. I had problems sleeping because the itch was so bad. I noticed that when my arm was covered in a snug sleeve, it stopped the itch. VERY STRANGE! Whatever works!
By RC (Guest Post) 09/13/2007
Ammonia is your friend for practically every type of itch. Apply a small amount of household Ammonia to a cotton swap and gently apply. And I mean a very small amount. do not use too much. Perhaps dilute a small amount in a little water before applying. But it will work. Ammonia is great at relieving most kinds of itches. And it works pretty fast too.
By Ashlee (Guest Post) 10/21/2007
We went on a picnic today and my grandmother was stung in the mouth/throat. she claims that it is not swelling it only itches but by looking inside her throat you can tell that it is swollen PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you have been stung by a yellow jacket in the throat let me know of anything that really helps!
Editor's Note: Benedryl would be good for this. It stops the reaction from the sting. It would be best for her to see a doctor though.
By blueeyes (Guest Post) 01/08/2009
The quickest and best remedy I found is to apply ice (or something really cold like a cold bottle of pop, water, anything cold) immediately to the site of the sting if you can (this will prevent the venom from spreading). Leave the ice on until the stinging pain stops, then immediately rub on a thick past of baking soda (leave the baking soda on the site of the sting until it comes off naturally or if you bathe). The baking soda paste should be left on for 4 hours or so, if possible, it will draw out the venom. This has always worked great, with no itching after!
By Laurie Letourneau 08/10/2009
I was also stung by numerous yellow jackets and was told to take benadryl to block histimine 1. The dotor also tole me to take 40 mg of pepcid twice a day to block histamine 2. I know it sounds strange, but it has really helped to relieve the itching.
Here are questions related to Relieving Itching From Yellow Jacket Stings.
How can I ease the pain and itch of a yellow jacket sting? I think I got the stinger out completely, but it was so hard to see. Should I put something on it to draw it out in case I didn't get it all? It's been about 24 hours and the itch is incredible. It's not too painful anymore, just a dull ache now and a little redness.
Thanks all who have replied so far. Nothing has really worked yet. I'm seeing doc tomorrow for unrelated matter and will ask her what she thinks. Hope she doesn't charge me twice. :>}