Go to main content
In an emergency, call 112

Ostrobothnia wellbeing services county


Change municipality/city

Ostrobothnia wellbeing services county

Wasp, photo: Pixabay

Doctor’s instructions for stings and bites

Niina Myllymäki, Medical Adviser at DigiFinland Oy, advises what to do when the site of a sting or bite becomes irritated.

Wasp sting

Prevention: Wasps only sting when they are disturbed, so do not try to whisk them off.

What to do: In you have an allergic reaction, take an antihistamine and cortisone tablets (e.g. Kyypakkaus® or Ampikyy®) and lay down. Persons who get serious allergic reactions to bee or wasp venom should carry a disposable adrenaline syringe with them.

See a doctor straight away: Call 112 if you get a serious allergic reaction, an anaphylactic shock, to the sting. It is characteristic of stings that itching and bumps spread all over the body, the lips and the eyelids swell, breathing wheezes, the throat becomes hoarse, and the person gets abdominal convulsions and diarrhoea. In children, vomiting may also be a symptom.

Tick bite

Prevention: clothes with long sleeves and legs, a daily screening for ticks and, partly, a vaccine. A person who has not been previously vaccinated is entitled to three free doses in high-risk areas.

What to do: Remove the tick using a pair of tweezers, tick pliers or a cotton bud. Disinfect the site of the bite. You do not need to get worried about some redness around the bite. If the red area expands to more than 5 cm in diameter within a couple of days, seek medical advice at your local health station. If the health station is not open, you can wait until it opens or call the Medical Helpline, tel. 116117.

Mosquito, midge or horsefly bite

Prevention: Clothing that covers as much of your body as possible and insect repellents.

What to do: The stings and bites of most insects cause local redness and swelling. Reactions to mosquito bites can be treated locally with cortisone cream and by taking an oral antihistamine. The site of the bite mostly calms down in a few hours.

Adder bite

Prevention: sturdy footwear when in nature and keeping your phone with you. If you notice a snake, do not make sudden movements and leave the snake alone.

What to do: Do not touch or handle the site of the bite. Moving or getting agitated after the bite will speed up the absorption of the venom into the systemic circulation through the lymphatic system. The person who has been bitten should not be made to walk and you should not touch the site of the bite. Any jewellery and tight clothes should be removed before the site swells. All other measures (e.g. a tourniquet, sucking the venom out or treating the site with an ice cube) are harmful or not useful. Do not take any anti-inflammatory drugs.