Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms allergic reaction Evaluation Treatment Home Care itching warning signs Outlook Complications Underlying Cause

Scorpion Bites Overview

Another name for Scorpion Bites is Scorpion Stings.

What are scorpion stings?
A person with a scorpion sting has been punctured by the tail of the scorpion, which contains venom. Only 1 out of 30 species of scorpion in the US carries venom that is dangerous to humans. After early treatment with antivenin, most people recover from poisonous scorpion stings. About 14,000 scorpion stings are reported each year in the US.

What are the symptoms of scorpion stings?
The most common symptom of scorpion stings is a painful puncture wound. The skin around scorpion bites may be red, swollen and tender. Symptoms of poisonous scorpion stings may include abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, high blood pressure, excessive salivation, excessive tearing, facial swelling, low blood pressure, muscle spasms, palpitations, rash, or seizures.

How does the doctor treat scorpion stings?
Treatment for scorpion stings may include wound care, cold compresses, oral antihistamine medications for itching, corticosteroid creams, oral antibiotics, and a tetanus vaccination. Additional treatment for poisonous scorpion stings may include intravenous fluids, antivenom, and oral corticosteroids.

Continue to Scorpion Bites Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Scorpion Bites References
  1. 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. [15795701]
  2. 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. [15735272]
  3. LoVecchio F, McBride C. Scorpion envenomations in young children in central Arizona. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2003;41(7):937-40. [14705838]
  4. 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. [15316520]
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