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
Swelling, itching, and a change in skin
Nausea and vomiting.
Anxiety, drowsiness, and
Increased saliva, tears, and sweat.
of the tongue.
Diarrhea or inability
to control bowels.
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.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine