Symptoms and first aid
The venom of a fire ant sting causes stinging and swells into a bump. This can cause much pain and irritation at times, especially when stung repeatedly by several at once. The bump often forms into a white pustule, which is at risk of becoming infected if scratched, however if left alone usually go down within a few days. The pustules are unattractive and uncomfortable while active and, if the sting sites become infected, can turn into scars.
Additionally, some people are allergic to the venom and, as with many allergies, may experience anaphylaxis, which requires emergency treatment. An antihistamine or topical corticosteroids may help reduce the itching.
First aid for fire ant bites includes external treatments and oral medicines.
External treatments: a topical steroid cream (hydrocortisone), or one containing aloe vera.
Oral medicines: antihistamines.
Patients who experience severe or life threatening allergic reactions to fire ant insect stings should visit a doctor or hospital immediately upon contact as these reactions can result in death. These more severe reactions include severe chest pain, nausea, severe sweating, loss of breath, serious swelling, or slurred speech.