It’s normal for everyone to get pain, redness and swelling around a sting site. Most people get an itchy lump from fire ants. Usually several insects attack at once, each one stinging again and again. The lump may calm down after about an hour. Over the next day a small liquid-filled blister is likely to form.
With insect allergy, local symptoms tend to be more intense. You can find a more detailed description below. More importantly, it can cause a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Symptoms typically involve more than one part of your body and may affect any of these:
- Skin – flushed, pale, itching or hives
- Head and neck – swelling of the tongue or throat
- Heart and blood pressure – a weak or rapid pulse, low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Gut – diarrhea, feeling or being sick
- Airways – narrowing, which may cause wheezing and trouble breathing
- Brain – dizziness or fainting
Anaphylaxis can happen suddenly, in minutes, or up to a few hours after you’re stung. Your body may go into shock and it can be life-threatening (more so for men than women it seems). The risk of having the same symptoms goes up once a systemic reaction has happened the first time.