Although it looks interesting and adorable, caterpillars have the ability to sting people. Caterpillar stings can cause minor symptoms or lead to a dangerous allergic reaction. To treat a caterpillar bite, you need to clean the sting, treat the symptoms, and consult a medical professional if symptoms become severe. That way, it will be easier for you to recover from a caterpillar sting.
Cleaning the burn
Remove the caterpillars without touching them. If the caterpillar is still on your skin, use forceps, tweezers, or thick gloves to pick it up. Never touch the caterpillar with bare hands as it may sting again.
Caterpillar stings are caused by small, hair-like spines that pierce the skin. Therefore, you need to avoid touching the body of the caterpillar with bare hands.
Use tape to remove sharp spikes from the skin. Use Scotch tape, cloth tape, or something similar. Place the tape over the sting and quickly peel it off. The tape will stick to the poisonous hairs or thorns left on the skin. This step is important to minimize sting symptoms and prevent further stings.
You can also use the sticky part of the dressing to remove any hairs or spikes.
Wash the sting. Use soap and warm water to clean the sting. Besides, you should wash the surrounding skin. Finally, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly, just in case you’ve come into contact with the caterpillar’s poison or stinger.
Apply a mixture of baking soda and water. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1-2 teaspoons of warm water. Apply a lot of the mixture on the sting and leave for a few minutes. The baking soda mixture helps relieve itching and other unpleasant symptoms. Reapply the mixture every few hours.
Use hydrocortisone cream. If baking soda doesn’t relieve your symptoms, you should wash off the mixture, apply plenty of hydrocortisone cream to the sting, and let it sit. It may take about an hour for the cream to soothe the sting. Reapply the cream according to the instructions on the product packaging.
Use an antihistamine cream. If hydrocortisone cream doesn’t work either, wash it off and then reapply more antihistamine cream to the sting. Wait about 30 minutes to see if there is a difference. In many cases, antihistamine creams have been shown to be ineffective in alleviating symptoms of moth stings, but you may find the cream works for you.
Cold compress. After applying baking soda or cream, you can apply a cold compress to the sting. Place a bag of ice cubes or frozen vegetables on the sting every 10-20 minutes. Continue applying cold once every 1-2 hours.
Watch for signs of serious symptoms. Caterpillar stings can cause a variety of symptoms. Depending on the type of caterpillar and the type of allergy, symptoms can be very mild or very severe. Common symptoms include:
Itching and contact dermatitis, blisters, ridges, small red bumps, pain
Conjunctivitis if caterpillar hairs get in the eye
Rash and hives
Shortness of breath
Nausea and vomiting
Hemorrhage and kidney failure can occur after exposure to the South American Lonomia moth
See a doctor if symptoms worsen. If blisters, large streaks, or widespread rash appear, you should see your doctor right away. This step is important because some people can experience a potentially fatal allergic reaction to a caterpillar sting.
Call the Poison Center for more information. Call a Poison Control Center (eg Bach Mai Hospital Poison Center) as soon as possible if you have any questions about how to treat a moth sting. A poison control specialist will answer the phone and give you recommendations on how to treat the sting.
Tetanus vaccine. If you haven’t had a tetanus shot in the last 5-10 years, you should get one within 72 hours of being bitten by a caterpillar. Wounds or bites can become infected and infected.