Scorpions: How to Treat a Scorpion Sting

Taking care of a scorpion sting sounds very intimidating, but it really can be done very easily. The main thing to do is remain calm. Death rates from scorpion stings are very low, especially in places where scorpions are common like Arizona. Places in the Southwest have vaccines available if the sting is bad. Many times people do not need to be hospitalized, the ones that do are normally children or the elderly. No matter what age you are, here are the steps to take if you are stung by a scorpion:

  • Wash the area where the sting mark is, use soap and water.
  • Get a compress, ice in a cloth, and apply it to the sting. Keep it on for 10 minutes and then remove for 10 minutes, and keep repeating as needed.
  • Usually people are stung on their hands or feet so this is a simple step, but there are cases where a limb could be stung. If your arm of leg has been stung keep it elevated while icing it.
  • Take a pain reliever like acetaminophen, avoid ibuprofen and aspirin.

If you are unsure about the sting you can always call the Banner Poison Control Center Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 for more information regarding your sting.

In some cases you could also have symptoms of a burning sensation at the sting mark, swelling, itching, numbness or tingling, and or sensitivity to touch. These are all common affects from a scorpion sting, but if you are unsure it would be best to go to a medical professional at this time.

Being that the Arizona bark scorpion is the most venomous type of scorpion there is an antivenin that can be used if necessary. Fortunately, Arizona residents have greater access to the antivenin then other parts of the country due to the state being home to many bark scorpions. In the case of a sting, especially in a child or elder, the antivenin can be a life saver. In most other cases life is not threatened, unless there is an allergic reaction which is not very common.

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