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Insect Allergies

As a skilled Southern California allergist, Dr. Johnson helps patients in Downtown, Los Angeles, CA, identify causes of insect venom allergies and learn how to manage their reactions, including the use of immunotherapy options to reduce future allergic reactions.


How can I tell if I'm allergic to insect stings?

The most common allergic reactions include:

  • swelling of the face or throat
  • swelling of an entire arm or leg
  • swelling that becomes worse for up to 48 hours after a sting occurs
  • upset stomach or diarrhea
  • difficulty breathing
  • dizziness
  • hives or profuse itchiness

Severe reactions can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition that can cause shock, loss of consciousness and death.

How are insect venom allergies treated?

Severe reactions require immediate medical attention. Mild reactions can often be treated with ice packs, non-prescription pain relievers, and antihistamines. Dr. Johnson can talk to you about immunotherapy treatments that can help desensitize you to insect venom to reduce your risk of developing a reaction.

How can I prevent allergic reactions to insect venom?

The best way to avoid reactions is, of course, to be extra vigilant when outdoors so insect nests and “buggy areas” can be avoided:

  • Avoid wearing perfume, cologne, body spray or other body or hair care products containing fragrance when outside.
  • Be careful when eating or cooking outdoors, and be sure to keep all foods and open beverages covered to avoid being stung on the mouth or throat.
  • Avoid going barefoot or wearing sandals or other open shoes
  • Try not to wear loose clothing that can trap an insect against your skin.

Even the most vigilant people can still be stung, so it's important to be prepared. If you have severe reactions to insect venom, Dr. Johnson can provide you with a kit to carry with you. The kit contains epinephrine that can be quickly injected using a special “pen” dispenser to help control serious anaphylactic reactions.

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