A scorpion sting like a snake bite is one of those dreaded incidents that we hope to never experience in our lives. This is because of the general perception that we have of scorpions as very dangerous creatures.
The extreme pain one feels when bitten makes us panic which surprisingly, is not fatal in most cases.
The most vulnerable group to it is the elderly and young children. There are also some people that have a natural low tolerance for the venom which can make their symptoms and experience to be more severe. This category is a small minority among the human population.
To give a brief background, scorpions are from the family of spiders, mites, etc. and they are known to live in deserts and arid regions most of the time. However, there are many of them that can live in almost all types of environments except Antarctica and Greenland.
Children are very vulnerable to scorpion bites especially when they go out to play in the sand and compound. They often do not know the dangers of a scorpion when they see one. Some even might try to pick it up out of the natural curiosity that children usually have.
People with certain occupations such as farming are also vulnerable to scorpion bites due to the demands and nature of their work of going to the farm and working in open bushes and lands.
Scorpions are most active at night which is why it is important that we are vigilant of going to secluded places and using items especially crumpled or folded clothes, shoes, etc. that have been left untouched for a while.
It is during these hours because they might be out for a walk and you might fall victim to their bites when you encounter them.
They are not known to sting other creatures as a habit unless they feel threatened as the main purpose of their stinger is to hunt for food. So when you see a scorpion try and avoid it and it will avoid you in turn.
Is a scorpion sting fatal?
A scorpion bite is known for its immediate and extreme pain once you fall victim to it. The good news about them is that like most of the spiders in the world, they are not fatal to human beings.
Of course there are some exceptions i.e dangerous scorpions such as the Arizona scorpion, yellow fattail scorpion, Brazilian yellow scorpion, etc. But they are very little in number compared to the overall scorpion population
This is why most scorpion stings can be treated at home and don’t need any medical care. Home remedies like the ones mentioned below are all that you will need
Scorpion sting symptoms
So How do we know it is a scorpion sting? Here are the common symptoms of most scorpion bites:
- Swelling, tenderness, and redness of the bitten skin area
- Shooting pain in the entire body area that feels like it is travelling through the body
- Tingling/burning sensation
In severe cases, it can cause:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Faintness and dizziness
- Losing consciousness
- Dramatic increase/decrease in blood pressure
- Muscle twitching etc.
When you start to experience any of the above symptoms you need to visit the hospital immediately or call a nearby poison control unit.
What to do When stung
For most healthy adults and children that are going to only need some home care and first aid to clear the venom from their body system and manage their discomfort, here are the immediate things you need to do:
- First, wash the area with mild soap to clean any venom on the skin
- Applying ice or a cool compress (soak a cloth/towel in cool/cold water) to the area to numb the sting and reduce inflammation. Do this especially for the first few hours after the bite.
- Elevate the stung body part if it is a leg or hand to ease the swelling
- Use some safe home remedies or pain killers such as ibuprofen in mild symptoms and go to the hospitals when severe/unusual symptoms start to appear
- remove any jewelry or tight clothing on the area.
What not to do when stung by a scorpion
- Do not try to suck the venom from the bitten area
- Do not try eating or drinking if you are having trouble swallowing
- Avoid taking any sedative or sleeping medications until you are well again
Once you take these steps, then you should simply wait it out for your body’s immune system to take care of the rest. it is usually expected that the pain and symptoms go away within 12-72 hours. If they persist beyond this period, then you need to visit the hospital for a proper examination
SIMPLE Home remedies
So you might be wondering if there is anything you can do while waiting in agony for the pain and symptoms to subside. Well yes. There are a few home remedies that I know of that work really well to relieve you of the pain.
Frankincense oil might not be a common household oil but it is very useful in treating animal and insect bites.
The good thing about this is that it works very fast and instead of just waiting in pain for many hours or even days for your body to recover from the sting, this will have you feeling anew in less than 12 hours.
How to use:
Simply add a drop of the oil on the head of the stung skin and rub it all over the painful area. You will feel better in less than an hour.
The baking soda is usually applied immediately after cleaning the wound to draw out the poison and neutralise it.
How to use:
- Add about a tablespoon of baking soda to a bowl and add a little water to make a paste.
- Apply the paste to the stung wound opening.
- Leave it for about 15-20 minutes then clean it off the skin.
other remedies To Try
I have read of some testimonies of people that used:
- Crushed fresh garlic added to a neutral oil (e.g olive oil, coconut oil) and then applied to the wound,
- Applying bleach with a ball of cotton wool immediately after cleaning the sting.
- A fresh onion cut horizontally and then rubbed on the scorpion-stung skin.
There is no harm in trying these as they are safe recommendations if you don’t have frankincense oil or baking soda at home. You may be surprised when it works for you too.
If you did try the onion, bleach, or garlic for your scorpion sting, do let us know in the comment section below so that we can learn from your experience.
Even though we panic when we are bitten by a scorpion, remember that most scorpion venom is not fatal or harmful to humans and does not require medical intervention. Home remedies will be sufficient here.
Because we don’t know of the type of scorpion we are dealing with, it is good practice to keep the patient under close inspection in the first 24 hours after being stung.
Remember to wear protective clothing (shoes at night, gloves, etc.) if you have work in places where scorpions are very likely to reside.
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