Bee stings are classified as a very common outdoor nuisance. And oftentimes, bee stings are just annoying and all that’s necessary to ease the pain they bring are simple home treatments. However, if you’re somehow allergic to bee stings or you got stung numerous times, then you may require a more serious mode of emergency treatments.
You can do a few steps to avoid getting stung by bees, wasps and hornets as well. Below are some things you can do once you get bitten.
Bee stings can invoke different reactions ranging from mild pain and discomfort to severe anaphylactic reactions. And experiencing one type of reaction does not guarantee that you’ll have the same every time you get stung.
Mild reactions may involve a sharp, burning pain at the site where you got stung that may produce a red welt. It can also produce a small, whitish spot where the bee’s stinger has punctured the skin and might develop into a slight swelling.
Moderate reactions may include extreme redness and swelling at the sting site which may progress over the next two days. Moderate reaction normally gets resolved within 5-10 days.
Severe allergic reactions (anaphylactic reactions) can potentially be life-threatening and requires immediate treatment. Symptoms include developing reactions such as the following:
- hives and itching
- either the skin going flushed or turning pale
- having a hard time breathing
- throat or tongue swelling
- presence of rapid or weak pulses
- vomiting, nausea or diarrhea,
- fainting spells or dizziness
- loss of consciousness
Bee sting venom contains a type of protein that can affect one’s skin cells and the general immune system of the affected person which then causes swelling and pain around the puncture site. For people who are allergic to bee stings, the bee venom can trigger a more intense immune system reaction.
Treatments for Minor Reactions:
Removing the stinger from your skin will keep its venom sac (attached to the stinger) from releasing more venom into your system. You need to remove the stinger as soon as you can as it only takes the bee venom a few seconds to enter your bloodstream. Use your fingernails, or tweezers to pry the stinger off your skin. Wash your skin with soap and water after and ice the stinger site to relieve the pain.
Treatment for Moderate Reactions
- Remove the stinger ASAP
- Wash the affected area with water and soap.
- Apply ice or cold compress on the puncture site.
- If the swelling or itching gets to be bothersome, you may start taking an oral antihistamine that contains either diphenhydramine (brand name: Benadryl) or chlorpheniramine (brand name: Chlor-Trimeton)
- Do not scratch the sting or puncture area—it will just worsen the feeling.
Emergency Treatments for Allergic Reactions
If you happen to be allergic to bee stings, your doctor will most likely give you an injection of epinephrine. If it’s already been prescribed, you need to have with you your injector pen at all times.
Although it’s not been readily proven, it is a common remedy to use a wet aspirin tablet and rub it against the sting area to minimize pain and possible infections.