Insect Allergies

Adult & Pediatric Allergy and Immunology services offered in Houston, TX
Insect Allergies

Insect Allergies services offered in Houston, TX

Insect allergies affect up to 0.08% of children and 3% of adults. If you have insect allergies, treatment is necessary. At Complete Allergy and Asthma in Houston, Texas, allergy and immunology specialists Niti Chokshi, MD, and Brian Tison, MD, offer complete care for insect allergies, including diagnostic testing and allergy shots. Call Complete Allergy and Asthma today to schedule insect allergy treatment for yourself or your child, or book your appointment online.

Insect Allergies Q&A

What are insect allergies?

Insect allergies are potentially severe reactions to being bitten or stung by an insect, like a wasp or a bee.

Insect stings are painful and often cause swelling, but they usually aren’t severe. If you have insect allergies, a sting can trigger anaphylaxis –– a potentially life-threatening reaction requiring prompt diagnosis and treatment.

What are the symptoms of insect allergies?

Insect allergy symptoms include:

  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Flushing
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Redness

Sometimes, insect allergies cause anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction that makes breathing difficult or can cause you to go into shock. If an insect sting causes an anaphylactic reaction, call 911 immediately or go to your nearest hospital emergency room without delay.

How are insect allergies diagnosed?

Your Complete Allergy and Asthma provider reviews your medical records and asks questions about your history of insect stings, including where you’ve been stung, the symptoms those stings triggered, and how long your symptoms lasted.

Then, your provider orders several tests, including:

Skin prick test

During this test, your provider exposes a patch of forearm skin to a small amount of insect venom. They prick your skin with a small needle, causing your skin to absorb the venom. If your arm turns red or develops a welt, you’re allergic to that insect’s venom.

Intradermal skin test

If your skin prick test is inconclusive, your provider orders an intradermal skin test. During this test, they inject a tiny amount of insect venom beneath your skin. You wait for 15-20 minutes, and your provider re-examines your skin for signs of an allergic reaction.

Blood test

For certain insect allergies, we can order IgE testing to the insect venoms to determine if you are allergic.

How are insect allergies treated?

Complete Allergy and Asthma takes a two-pronged approach to insect allergy treatment, including:

Emergency care

Emergency care provides same-day treatment for insect stings. If you have a life-threatening reaction, call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room immediately.

If you have mild symptoms, contact Complete Allergy and Asthma and explain the situation. Depending on your needs, your provider might recommend epinephrine, antihistamines, or corticosteroids.

Preventive treatment

Preventive treatment, or venom immunotherapy, tries to prevent allergic reactions. 

During treatment, your Complete Allergy and Asthma provider injects small amounts of insect venom beneath your skin, gradually increasing the doses over time. This builds up your immunity within a few weeks or months, significantly reducing your risk of severe allergic reactions.

Call Complete Allergy and Asthma today to learn more about treating insect allergies, or book your appointment online.