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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.
See a picture of a scorpion.
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.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine|
|Last Revised||October 14, 2011|
|By:||Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: October 14, 2011|
|Medical Review:||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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