Stung by a bee? Learn how to treat a bee sting effectively
Bees might be tiny, but their stinging powers can cause even the biggest of organisms to tremble!
A bee sting is quite painful, but for the normal allergy-free person it will just be a combination of temporary pain and irritation. Most bee stings can be easily treated at home, and don’t have to be a source of extreme panic. Those who are allergic to bee stings require medical help – it is necessary to rush them immediately to the hospital. Medication, given on time, in such cases manages to curb any further dangerous complications.
In any bee sting situation, the important point is to take action immediately – be it at home or at the hospital.
Bee Stings – Symptoms and Reactions
Bees are notoriously associated with stinging, but other insects (like wasps) can sting too. Honeybees die after stinging, as they leave their stinger behind (in the flesh of the recipient of the sting). Wasps and other bees can sting multiple times, as their stingers do not detach from the body.
The first thing that should be done in case of a bee sting is carefully removing the sting (as it is the source of toxin that is causing all the pain).
The venom/toxin in the bee sting causes the immune system to react, thereby causing the swelling. The sting can be removed by using fingernails or any other flat surface. Even tweezers can be used to remove the sting. Care should be taken that the sting does not break in half or get embedded deeper into the skin.
What are the immediate symptoms of a bee sting?
For people not suffering from allergies, the below-mentioned reactions are most commonly seen in the event of a bee sting –
- Swelling at the site of the sting
- Itchy skin around the sting site
- A painful numbness around the sting site
Often the swelling can spread – for example, if your foot gets stung chances are that your lower leg will swell up as well. This is nothing to worry about, as long as you are not allergic. In the unlikely event that the swelling and pain keep on increasing, it is necessary to go to the hospital.
Almost two million people in the United States are allergic to bee stings. Allergic people can have severe reactions to bee stings –
- Swollen face, throat, eyes, nose, tongue (even if you were stung elsewhere)
- Difficulty in breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Weak pulse
- Hives and flushed skin, or pale skin
These dangerous symptoms are due to an extreme allergic reaction triggered by the immune system, known as anaphylaxis. If such reactions appear after a bee sting, it is necessary to rush to the person to the doctor. Anaphylactic reactions, if not treated on time, can even lead to death.
If you get stung many times, the toxins can accumulate in your body, causing severe reactions. These can include convulsions, vertigo, and fainting.
If you have an emergency epinephrine autoinjector (such as EpiPen), use it as directed immediately after being stung.
So, what to do when a bee stings you?
In case of a normal bee sting, there are many home remedies that can be used to soothe the pain.
- Apply a cold pack to the area
Ice can help in reducing the swelling, and will also help in reducing the pain. Ice packs also reduce the redness around the sting site. The coldness will provide a soothing feeling.
Honey is an antiseptic that works as an anti-inflammatory ingredient and helps with the pain and itching.
- Baking Soda
Make a paste using baking soda and water to reduce the spreading of the toxin from the sting. This will reduce itching and pain.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Soak a bandage or cloth with apple cider vinegar and apply it directly to the sting site. Apple cider vinegar helps in neutralizing the bee sting toxin.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is an excellent everyday ingredient that can help with inflammation and pain. Apply aloe vera directly onto the sting site. Reapply as often as required.
- Tea Tree Oil
Mix a little bit of tea tree oil with water and apply directly to the sting site. This will help in soothing the pain.
Dabbing toothpaste onto the sting site can cause a tingling sensation that can reduce the pain and itching. It is advisable to use natural toothpaste rather than regular toothpaste.
- Calamine Lotion
Calamine lotion has often been mentioned as an effective bee sting remedy, as it can reduce the itching and redness.
Oatmeal baths are very effective when it comes to lessening the itching that is caused by a bee sting.
Medicines such as Advil contain Ibuprofen and are anti-inflammatory in nature. These can be used in case of a bee sting.
The above-mentioned home remedies can be used if a non-allergic person is stung by a bee. Allergic people need to be taken to the doctor in case of a bee sting as the allergy can trigger other damaging bodily reactions.
Be safe from bees!
Bees in some cases can be a nuisance, and in others can be a danger. Essex County Pest Control will help in ensuring that your house stays protected from bees. If you have a beehive nearby, call us today and we will guarantee you that the bees will not create any issues for you. Our professional exterminators know exactly how to deal with bees, and are highly skilled and methodical. With Essex County Pest Control, you won’t have to worry about bees or bee stings again!