Arizona’s dry desert landscape provides a unique habitat for many creatures that can be dangerous to humans. During this time of year one of these creatures is the scorpion. While encounters with these little pests happen only occasionally it is important to know how to treat yourself if you happen to get stung by one of these arachnids. Natural remedies are available to help alleviate pain and discomfort if you are unfortunate enough to get stung by one of these little bugs. Let’s look at a few ways you can help get rid of the pain and discomfort of scorpion stings naturally if you happen to get stung.

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How scorpion stings affect you

Arizona is home to a few varieties of scorpions with Bark scorpions (Centauroids species) being the most common and most venomous. When stung by one of these small creatures you will typically experience localized pain, swelling, redness and possibly some numbness in the area which you were stung. Most stings only result in some mild pain. However, severe reactions to the scorpion’s venom can occur in some people, particularly the elderly and smaller children.

What to do if stung

If you or a family member gets stung by a scorpion, more importantly a Bark scorpion, it is important to remain calm and act immediately. Wash the area well with mild soap and water to reduce any risk of infection. Apply a cold compress or an ice pack wrapped in a towel. Do not apply direct ice to the affected area. The cold compress will help with swelling and pain. Keep the area elevated, if possible, to help reduce swelling. Contact your primary care provider as an assessment from a medical provider is needed. Tetanus prophylaxis may also be warranted.

If you feel the pain extending past the initial wound such as up the arm or leg or if there is agitation, drooling, abnormal eye movements with blurred vision, or slurred speech, call the poison center immediately at 1-800-222-1222 and seek urgent medical attention as you may require antivenom.

Natural home remedies for discomfort due to stings

If your sting has been classified as minor, there may be some natural ways to the discomfort from scorpion stings. From baking soda to aloe, you have items around your home at the ready to help alleviate pain and swelling. If you or your family ever gets stung by one of these well-known Arizona creatures here are a few home remedies you can use if you ever get stung.


Aloe vera will help with scorpion stings to alleviate any skin irritation and inflammation. Apply a generous amount of the aloe gel directly on the stung area of skin. The cooling effects of the aloe will help alleviate pain and its inflammatory properties will help reduce swelling.

Apple cider vinegar

Vinegar is another option, particularly apple cider vinegar. Soak a small rag or cotton ball in the vinegar and place on the sting. The vinegar will help break down the proteins in the venom to provide pain relief and help reduce swelling.

Baking soda

Baking soda also helps alleviate pain when it comes to scorpion stings. Mix baking soda with water to make a paste and then apply it to the sting. The baking soda will help neutralize the acid in the venom providing pain relief.

Echinacea Root

Echinacea root has historical use for insect bites and stings. Its action to inhibit hyaluronidase making it uniquely effective to treat scorpion stings that contain hyaluronidase. Consume echinacea root in a tea or from a tincture. The isobutylamides in echinacea cause tingling in your mouth that is harmless.

While scorpion stings can be shocking using these natural remedies can help in a pinch if it ever happens to you. By understanding how to respond a sting you will be bettered prepared to take measures to alleviate the pain and swelling associated with an encounter with a scorpion. As always, if stung and you feel lightheaded, experience a rapid heartbeat, or just feel uncomfortable in away contact medical attention immediately.

Author: Dr. Nichole Shiffler, a naturopathic medical doctor at Be Well Medical Primary Care in Chandler, is a graduate of the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, now known as Sonoran University, and specializes in holistic, integrative, and personalized care to meet her patient’s health concerns.