Scorpion Stings

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Topic Overview

Scorpions , found mostly in the western and especially the southwestern United States, are up to 3 in. (7.6 cm) in length. They have eight legs and a pair of pincers like a crab has. The stinger, which injects venom, is located at the end of a narrow tail that curves around and over the back of the scorpion's body.

Although some scorpions are not poisonous, others have venom strong enough to kill a person. Some scorpions are found in cool, damp places, such as basements, junk piles, and wood piles. Other scorpions are found in desert areas. Symptoms of a scorpion sting may include:

  • Intense immediate pain lasting from minutes to 24 hours.
  • Swelling, itching, and a change in skin color.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Anxiety, drowsiness, and fainting.
  • Increased saliva, tears, and sweat.
  • Numbness of the tongue.
  • Vision problems.
  • Diarrhea or inability to control bowels.
  • Swollen glands.

If you have been stung by a scorpion, contact a doctor immediately. Medicine (antivenom) may be needed to counteract the effects of the scorpion sting.

Scorpion StingsSkip to the navigation

Scorpion StingsSkip to the navigation


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014