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Insect Stings: How to Remove the Stinger

Topic Overview

It is important to remove the stinger as quickly as possible after a sting. Even a delay of a second or two in removing the stinger is likely to increase the amount of venom you receive. In less than 20 seconds after a sting, 90% of the venom is injected into your body.

To quickly remove the stinger:

  • Flick the stinger out with your finger.
  • Scrape it out with something that is a immediately available, like a stiff piece of paper, butter knife, or credit card. Don't waste time trying to find something special.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised July 8, 2013

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