Learn to deal with a sting from a bee and the signs to look out for.
It’s a picture-perfect day. It’s sunny, the flowers are in bloom, and you can hear the buzzing sounds of bees around. However, then comes the painful sting of an itch.
Bee stings are commonplace in warmer weather, but they don’t have to end your outdoor adventures.
“For most people, it’s easy to treat bee stings at home,” says Richard T. Hale, DO. A Geisinger internist. “It’s all about managing the pain, swelling and itching and knowing the signs of a severe reaction.”
Here are some treatment options for bee stings worth talking about.
The signs of the sting
If a bee stings the skin, it injects venom under the skin’s surface that can cause:
- A sharp, burning pain is felt at the location
- A swelling or red welt that surrounds the region
Honeybees generally leave behind their stingers with barbed edges. Bumblebees, wasps, yellowjackets, and hornets do not and can therefore bite repeatedly if threatened.
How do you treat a bee stain
Except for allergic reactions, most cases can be treated at home. Doctor. Hale recommends the following steps to treat stings from bees and to reduce swelling and pain:
- Get rid of the stinger as quickly as you can. Using a flat and rigid object, such as credit cards, to carefully scrape the stinger out from the surface. If you need to employ tweezers or even your finger, the speed you get rid of the stinger is more important than the speed at which you remove it.
- Cleanse the area using detergent along with clean water. Washing the wound assists in removing any remaining poison and also prevents the spread of infection.
- Apply Ice. Apply an ice pack (or bags of frozen vegetables) at least 10 minutes at a stretch to decrease inflammation and swelling.
- Take painkillers that are available over the counter or an antihistamine. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen will help ease any discomfort. Antihistamines and hydrocortisone creams may help reduce itching and swelling.
“For most people, at-home bee sting treatments are enough, and the pain and swelling should get better within a few days,” says the doctor. Hale.
Do bee sting home remedies work?
Although it’s tempting to test an innovative homemade remedy for treating bee stings however, the doctor. Hale says the research isn’t extensive enough.
“Lots of people swear by remedies like pastes made from baking soda and water, honey or apple cider vinegar, but there’s no concrete evidence to prove they work,” is the explanation of Hale. Hale. “Still, there’s usually no harm in trying them if you’re in a situation where access to over-the-counter treatments is limited, like while camping.”
Remember that these remedies aren’t meant to substitute for medical advice or attention. If you experience an extremely severe reaction or allergic reaction, you should avoid these products completely.
Bee stings are an indication of an emergency
If you are sensitive to venom from bees, the sting can cause an extreme allergic reaction or anaphylaxis. See a doctor immediately when you experience any of these symptoms following a bee sting
- Coughing, difficulty breathing, or wheezing
- The swelling can be severe, or the hives extend beyond the site of the sting
- Nausea or vomiting
- The feeling of fainting or dizziness can be a cause.
- Heart rate increase
“An allergic reaction can happen anywhere from a few minutes to a day after being stung,” says Dr. Hale. “Watch for these symptoms, especially in young children, older adults and people with weakened immune systems.”
If you are concerned about a serious reaction, see your nearest emergency room whenever you can. If you are aware that you’re allergic, and carry an injector of epinephrine, make certain to have it with you when spending in the outdoors.
Even even if you’re not allergic, Doctor. Hale recommends visiting urgent medical attention when you’ve experienced multiple stings around areas that are sensitive such as the nose, eyes, or mouth.
“You do not want swelling that prevents you from breathing or seeing. In those cases, you might need to treat bee stings with prescription-strength antihistamines or steroids,” says Dr. Hale.
Methods to avoid stings from bees
It’s not necessary to avoid the great outdoors in order to be safe from getting bitten. These suggestions will assist you in “bee safe” during your next camping trip, picnic, or barbecue:
Do not wear bright colors or scent-laden products outdoors
According to some studies, bees are attracted by blues, purples, and yellows. Keep that in mind when you plan your outfit.
As nice as it can be to smell like a bouquet of flowers, think about avoiding the scent when you’re outside.
Cover food and beverages in containers
If you’re planning to have a barbecue or picnic, make sure to ensure that your food is covered to keep away insects. (Especially in the event that you’re serving sweet-smelling beverages, desserts, or fruits.)