Scorpions, found mostly in the western and especially the southwestern United States, are up to 7.5 cm (3 in.) 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 colour.
- 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 (anti-venom) may be needed to counteract the effects of the scorpion sting.
Current as of: February 26, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine