How to treat a Scorpion sting

Scorpions hunt usually at night and use their sting against the prey or predator, both. Every scorpion contains venom (usually neurotoxic), however not all are deadly for adult humans but can be fatal for children.

Before moving to the treatment of scorpion sting, lets see some interesting facts about scorpions.

 Are all scorpions dangerous?

Scorpions are scary. Although all of them have venom, not all have the lethal one. There are almost 1750 known scorpion species, out of these only 25 are considered to produce a venom that can kill humans.

Scorpions usually use the venom to hunt their prey. Although they prefer using the brute force for this purpose, but the sting can be used for sure! Scorpion sting is used to defend the scorpion against the predator too.

Remember that even if you’ve identified the scorpion specie as non fatal for humans, it can still cause severe damage by venom or by the allergic reaction itself, therefore it’s important to monitor and treat the patient and take the patient to the hospital if the pain is unbearable or if there are any mild symptoms of anything other than pain and slight swelling.

black scorpion

Are scorpions stings deadly?

In case of deadly venom scorpions, the scorpion sting can be deadly. However in rest of the cases death may still occur due to the reaction of the body to the sting too, even if the scorpion venom wasn’t fatal enough.

Therefore always monitor the patient with scorpion sting for any symptoms other than mild pain and swelling and rush to the hospital emergency if there is any issue.

Do Scorpions sting or bite?

No, scorpion do not bite, they only sting. Most people use the term “bite” instead of sting to describe the scorpion sting too.

Do Scorpions die after they sting you?

No they don’t! Scorpion sting is a protective mechanism through which they defend themselves.

How to identify the scorpion sting?

Scorpion sting can be identified as one sting mark (instead of two as in case of snake bite usually) or by seeing a scorpion around the person going away after the sting.

Scorpion sting symptoms

The scorpion sting causes pain and discomfort that decreases over time. The discomfort after the scorpion sting can be from moderate to severe.

The symptoms and discomfort after scorpion sting include:

  • pain on the scorpion sting site and surrounding
  • tingling or burning sensation at the site of scorpion sting
  • numbness at scorpion sting site

The allergic reaction after the scorpion bite (sting actually) is usually mild and appears at the scorpion sting site. However in rare cases the allergic reaction can spread throughout the body and result in:

  • widespread numbness
  • blurring of vision
  • difficulty breathing
  • difficulty swallowing
  • thickening of tongue
  • roving eye movements
  • racing heart
  • muscle twitching
  • weakness
  • high blood pressure

All these conditions are medical emergency and the patients should be rushed to the hospital emergency as death can occur.

How to treat a Scorpion Sting

Scorpion sting treatment in adults with mild pain and swelling without any emergency symptoms can usually be done at home. However they should be rushed to the hospital if any of the serious symptoms occur even mildly.

One must know how to treat a scorpion sting naturally at least for the cases that are not alarming and have only mild pain and swelling.

The scorpion sting management includes:

  • Calm the patient, make him relax and immobile. Raise the affected part to the heart level, don’t let it hang down.
  • Identify and mark the wound site.
  • Remove all jewellery from the affected part as it can impede the blood circulation once the swelling progresses and won’t be able to take it off easily either.
  • Wash the sting area with soap and water.
  • Apply cool compressions. This can be done in a way that 10 minutes cold compressions on the site of scorpion sting and 10 minutes off, above and below the scorpion sting site. This will aid in relieving the symptoms as well as reducing the spread of venom to the rest of the body.
  • Pain killer medicine such as paracetamol / acetaminophen can be given. Avoid ibuprofen or aspirin if possible as it can lead to issues.
  • Antihistamines can be useful in managing the itch and irritation on the bitten (stung) area.

Cutting the scorpion sting site, applying tourniquet or sucking the venom out are NOT to be done at all.

Antibiotics are recommended if there is some infection at the scorpion sting wound.

Antivenom for scorpion sting

Anti venom for scorpion bite is not available for all species, however it’s available for bark scorpion (Centruroides species). Researches are underway to develop the antivenom for other scorpion species as well.

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