Itchy Skin Years After Being Stung

I was stung by a yellow jacket about 4-5 years ago. I sat back on a lawn chair onto a yellow jacket and I think the stinger broke off into my skin. My husband said there was no stinger in my back, but he didn't dig down into my skin. Since that time I have an itchy spot on my back in the same area where I was stung (it only itches in that spot). I've heard that if a stinger is not removed it will absorb into your skin? Is this true?

If so, can it cause any longterm effects such as a constant itching sensation forever or any type of longterm health concerns or illnesses? If the stinger was left in my back, is there anything that can be done now to stop the daily itching? Would an injection of cortisone into that area help? Or could the stinger still be there deep under the skin? And if so, could it be removed?


Blue Eyes from Westlake, Ohio

January 10, 20090 found this helpful

Yellowjackets don't normally leave behind a stinger, like a honeybee does.

Have you tried an antihistamine? I had this happen with a tick on my ankle, the area would sting and itch something terrible, and it went on for a good two years. It did finally clear up. I think I must have irritated it from scratching too much, maybe I got it infected. Seems like a doctor could find a way to help relieve your discomfort. Hope you get relief soon.

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January 15, 20090 found this helpful

Hi from Brooklyn OH! I also would suggest seeing a doctor. Probably a dermatologist, or a general practitioner.

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May 24, 20090 found this helpful

It most likely is just local nerve damage in that area, caused by the sting itself. I would imagine that if a stinger were left in there, it would have been absorbed by the body by now. Local nerve damage can happen around accidental cuts, surgical incisions, etc. But you really should let your doctor or dermatologist check it out for you, to make you feel better.

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