Venom Testing

Bluegrass Family Allergy provides venom testing for children and adults who believe they have an allergy to stinging insects. Skin testing is quick and easy, and patients are closely observed while receiving treatment. Dr. Brauer tests for allergic reactions to the following insect venoms:

  • Wasp
  • Honey bee
  • Yellow jacket
  • Yellow hornet
  • White-faced hornet

Venom Testing: What to Expect

Venom testing involves looking at reactions to different concentrations of a suspected stinging insect with labwork or intradermal testing. This means taking a small amount of serum and injecting it slightly under the skin to determine how allergic someone is to wasps, bees, or hornets. The testing is not painful, and many people describe it as a pinching sensation. Testing takes 60-90 minutes, and Dr. Brauer will speak with you immediately after the testing to review your results and treatment options.

Understanding Venom Allergies

Individuals who are allergic to insect venom may display one or more of the following symptoms after being stung:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blueness of the skin
  • Itching
  • Chest tightening or pain
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Sweating
  • Seizures or unconsciousness
  • Decreased blood pressure

For a small number of people, stings can be life-threatening. The severe allergic reaction to insect stings is called anaphylaxis. If you or your child has ever experienced any of the above symptoms after being stung or bitten, call Dr. Brauer today at (270) 228-2811 and schedule an appointment.

Treating Insect Stings

If you or your child is stung by an insect, remove the stinger within 30 seconds. Simply scrape your fingernail across the skin rather than squeeze the sac, as this forces more venom into your skin. Immediately leave the area where you were stung. Then:

  1. Raise the affected limb and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and pain.
  2. Gently clean the area with soap and water to prevent infections. Do not break blisters.
  3. Use topical steroid ointments to relieve itching.
  4. See a physician if swelling worsens or the sting site looks infected.

At the first sign of anaphylaxis, seek emergency medical treatment.

Make an Appointment With Dr. Brauer Today

Dr. Brauer is a board-certified allergist providing personalized treatments for children and adults. If you or your child has a venom allergy, make an appointment to discuss avoidance and make an emergency plan.