Every year, thousands of reports come through to the American Association of Poison Control Centers regarding scorpion stings. While they can deliver quite a painful punch, the majority of scorpion stings are often harmless. Luckily, the U.S. doesn’t have the kinds of creatures that cause serious injury and death like other parts of the world. Because of this, home remedies for scorpion bites & stings can provide relief from the discomfort or pain.
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What is a Scorpion?
Relatives to the spider, mite and tick, the scorpion is an eight-legged invertebrate with an extended body and menacing-looking segmented tail that ends with a stinger (called a telson). Around the world, there are about 1,300 species of scorpions, but there are only about 90 different species that live in the United States – mostly dwelling in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
Scorpions are skillful at adapting to a variety of environments, including mountain-dotted pine forests and damp caves. In the Andes Mountains, scorpions have been found living at elevations of more than 12,000 feet . Only one species in the U.S. possesses potent enough venom that causes severe symptoms and at times, death. It is called the bark scorpion and it mainly lives in the Southwest desert.
The scorpion is a nocturnal creature that stays hidden during the day. Some species like to conceal their whereabouts by hiding under rocks, cracks, logs, or in burrows that they dig.
Symptoms of Scorpion Stings & Bites
Scorpions use their venom to restrain prey, during their mating rituals, and as a defense. The potency of venom varies according to species. The majority of scorpion stings in the United States lead to minor symptoms. A victim may experience pain and warmth at the site of the sting.
However, a sting from the bark scorpion is more toxic and can kill children. This sting causes intense pain, numbness, tingling sensations, muscle twitching, odd head movements, drooling, sweating, and restlessness in children. Adults often have difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, muscle twitching, and high blood pressure .
Home Remedies for Scorpion Bites
Even if you are able to treat scorpion stings at home, it is a good idea to call a poison control line or your doctor. Since scorpion stings are puncture wounds, you may also need a tetanus shot. Some home remedies for scorpion stings to consider include:
Ice the site of a scorpion sting to combat pain and inflammation.
b) Soap and Water:
To prevent bacteria and cleanse the wound site, wash with soap and water.
c) Cold Compress:
Apply a cold compress to affected skin as a way to calm pain and slow the spread of the scorpion’s venom. This home remedy provides the best results during the first two hours of suffering a sting.
d) Stay Calm:
You can actually slow the spread of scorpion venom by staying calm and quiet.
If a scorpion stings you on your hand, some people have immersed their hand in a container of regular ammonia.
f) Baking Soda:
Add water to baking soda until you can create a paste, which is then applied to the site of a scorpion sting until the painful sensations have subsided.
g) Mango Leaf:
If you happen to live where a mango plant is close by, you can use the juice from a leaf as a way to treat a scorpion sting. Some people also consume the mango juice as a way to combat pain.
h) Meat Tenderizer:
Some poison control centers have told callers to use meat tenderizer (the kind that contains papaya extract) as a way to calm the pain of a scorpion sting. Add a small amount of water to the tenderizer to create a paste and immediately apply to a sting site. Papaya extract breaks down the proteins found in the venom. This remedy also works for bee and wasp stings.
i) Cortisone Cream:
Put the cortisone cream in your bathroom cabinet to work by applying it to the site of a scorpion sting.
j) Avoid Eating or Drinking:
Sometimes, a scorpion sting will cause your throat to swell – making it difficult to swallow. Because of this, do not eat or drink anything until symptoms lessen.