What is it?
This is a reaction to proteins present in the venom of some stinging insects, against which the immune system produces antibodies (IgE), which are possibly aggravated by other substances present in the venom, such as enzymes, vasoactive amines, amino acids. Hymenoptera, including bees and wasps, are the insects most commonly associated with allergic reactions; such manifestations can occur due to the bites of tropical insects (ants, mosquitoes).
Which are the symptoms?
The most common reactions: urticaria, swelling at the site of the insect bite; sometimes the reaction spreads to other areas of the skin and organs, causing angioedema of the face, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Sometimes these symptoms can develop into more serious reactions, namely, edema of the glottis and anaphylactic shock, characterized by a decrease in pressure, loss of consciousness, up to cardiac arrest and respiratory arrest.
How is it treated?
There are emergency medications that an allergic person can use if stung: steroids, antihistamines, and especially epinephrine (also available in self-injecting form).
Simple rules for the prevention of insect bites are also useful: 1) avoid the use of perfume or other substances that can attract insects; 2) Dress in dull clothes that cover the surface of the body as much as possible (especially the neck and head); 3) do not eat outside.
The task of the allergist after the exact diagnostic process will be to assess the possibility of specific immunotherapy or "vaccination", the purpose of which is to induce a state of tolerance to the venom of bees and wasps. This therapy is for anyone who develops severe reactions and has a positive skin test. For less severe systemic reactions (e.g., urticaria, erythema, generalized pruritus), the decision to initiate immunotherapy may be influenced by other factors, such as a high-risk work activity.
Where do we treat it?
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