Bitten by a Scorpion Home Care
Home care for a scorpion sting includes:
- Clean the skin gently:
- Use mild soap and water.
- Do not scrub the skin.
- Dry the skin.
- Apply 1% hydrocortisone cream:
- Apply to the skin, 4 times a day.
- Avoid scratching: this can cause infection.
- Apply a cold compress:
- Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 1-2 hours.
- For bites to the arms or legs:
- Elevate the extremity above the heart.
- Acetaminophen for pain
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, NeoProfen)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, Oruvail)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve)
- Oral antihistamines for itching:
- Take prescribed medications as directed:
Bitten by a Scorpion Itching
General home treatment measures for itching due to a scorpion sting include:
- Cleanse itching skin with soap and water to remove any remaining venom.
- Massage the bite areas with an ice cube or cold compress.
- Take a cool bath or shower to reduce itching. Consider using oatmeal (Aveeno).
Medications for itching include:
- An oral antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl):
- For children (1 to 6 years) give 6.25-12.5 mg of Benadryl every four to six hours
- For children (6-12 years) give 12.5-25 mg of diphenhydramine every four to six hours
- Adults may take 25 to 50 mg of diphenhydramine every four to six hours as needed
- Anti-itching cream such as:
- Benadryl Itch Stopping Cream
- A steroid cream such as a 0.5 to 1% hydrocortisone cream or ointment such as:
- Domeboro Astringent is used as a wet compress on itching skin.
- Prescribed oral antihistamines or steroids should be taken as directed.
Oral antihistamines can be sedating. Use with caution and do not mix with alcohol or other sedatives. Follow directions on product packaging.
Bitten by a Scorpion Warning Signs
Seek immediate medical care for symptoms of allergic reaction due to a scorpion sting, such as
- Difficulty breathing
- Facial swelling
- Lip swelling
- Mouth or tongue swelling
- Severe pain around the wound
- Worsening skin swelling around the wound
- Worsening wheezing
Notify your doctor for:
- It has been more than 5 years since your last tetanus vaccine
- Red rash with yellow or brown scabs
- Red streaks in the skin around the wound:
- Lymphangitis of the arm
- Lymphangitis of the back of the leg
- Lymphangitis of the hand from a finger wound
- Repeated vomiting
- Scorpion sting that occurs southwestern US
- Worsening pain around the wound
- Worsening skin redness and swelling:
Continue to Bitten by a Scorpion Outlook
- Bahloul M, Rekik N, Chabchoub I, Chaari A, Ksibi H, Kallel H, Damak H, Chaari A, Ben Hamida C, Chelly H, Bouaziz M.Neurological complications secondary to severe scorpion envenomation. Med Sci Monit. 2005 Apr;11(4):CR196-202. 
- Foex B, Wallis L. Best evidence topic report. Scorpion envenomation: does administration of antivenom alter outcome? Emerg Med J. 2005 Mar;22(3):195. Review. 
- LoVecchio F, McBride C. Scorpion envenomations in young children in central Arizona. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2003;41(7):937-40. 
- Nugent JS, More DR, Hagan LL, Demain JG, Whisman BA, Freeman TM. Cross-reactivity between allergens in the venom of the common striped scorpion and the imported fire ant. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004 Aug;114(2):383-6.