Bee Sting Treatment: Most Effective Remedies
What do you imagine when thinking about summer? Warm weather, lying on the sand, and sipping the cocktail if you are lucky enough to get a summer vacation or sitting in a hot office and regular visits to the cooler, if you are not that lucky. But, in the both cases, you can come across another inevitable summer’s sign – bee stings. Those nasty flying insects can cause a lot of trouble, no matter where you are – on the beach or in the office. That is why you need to be aware of how to provide the bee sting relief, particularly in little kids. The worst thing is that some people have the bee sting allergy that can lead to the death if missed. That is why it is essential to distinguish the symptoms of bee stings to prevent the possible health hazards.
How can you notice an ordinary bee sting: symptoms
When a bee stings, it leaves the venomous toxin capable of causing the unpleasant symptoms. In the most cases, the bee stings are harmless for a human body (unless there is an individual allergic reaction to the toxin), especially if you are stung by a honey bee. The wasp sting can be more painful and dangerous. And most likely wasps cause allergic reactions to their stings, not bees. According to WebMD, wasp stings lead the insect-caused allergies in the United States.
The U.S. National Capital Poison Control defines such major bee sting symptoms:
- Mild-to-moderate pain;
- Increasing bee sting swelling all over the stung area;
These are the normal, non-allergic body reactions to the bee or wasp sting.
Symptoms of the bee sting allergy
The above-mentioned bee sting symptoms can be easily treated at home. But if you have the bee sting allergy that is the emergency medical case that has to be treated by a health care specialist. The severe body reaction to a bee or rather wasp sting is called anaphylaxis. Severe itching of the face and eyes is the first sign of anaphylaxis. Within a few minutes, the wasp sting swelling appears that may cause the problems with breathing and swallowing. Individually, other bee sting allergy symptoms may also reveal as:
- Chest or throat tightness;
- Common weakness;
- Enhanced heart rate;
- Lowered blood pressure;
- Abdominal pain;
The bee sting treatment: medical methods
There are two ways of treating bee stings – home or medical remedies. But before applying any kind of the treatment you need to remove the stinger. According to the experts from the Poison Control, you can do it in such way:
- After noticing the bee sting, you need to examine the affected area to see if the stinger is still under your skin. Look for a small black dot at the sting area;
- After finding the stinger, you need to scrape it out with any non-sharp object like a fingernail or the credit card’s edge. Using the tweezers may be a bad idea because you can push more venom into your skin;
- After pulling out the stinger you need to sanitize the sting spot – just clean it with soap and water.
Then you may try following the conventional way and use any over-the-prescription cream with cortisone or any powerful antihistamine. If you also have severe itching, you may also take Benadryl (Diphenhydramine).
In order to treat an anaphylactic attack from the bee sting, the medical team may need to perform the procedure called cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the case of difficulties with breathing and absence of the heartbeat. Also, they may give you such medications:
- Epinephrine (basically adrenaline) to quickly decrease the natural body response to the toxin;
- Oxygen mask for breathing;
- Intravenous injections of antihistamines and cortisone for reducing the inner inflammation in air passages and improving the natural breathing function;
- Albuterol or any other beta antagonist for better breathing.
Keep in mind that only a doctor can decide what to do for a bee sting relief in the case of the severe allergic response. Different cases of the bee allergy require the various or combined methods of the conventional medical treatment. Home remedies can’t help relieve the allergy symptoms caused by a wasp sting!
Treating bee stings at home
According to Healthline and WebMD, in most cases applying only home remedies can be enough for people who are not allergic to bee stings. However, you need to act quickly, as soon as you notice the bee or wasp sting, you can use any home remedy for a bee sting from the offered ones:
The mixture of water and baking soda
The uses of baking soda are basically endless. No wonder that this natural remedy can be also helpful for a quick bee sting relief. Try applying the paste of baking soda mixed with water on the sting spot and repeat the applications a few times afterward to speed up the healing process.
This is one of the simplest, yet the most effective ways of relieving the non-allergic symptoms of a bee or wasp sting, Just apply an ice pack or ice compress to the affected area. Redness, swelling, itching, and inflammation will be more tolerable with an ice compress. Also, this remedy can help draw blood to the sting spot to stimulate the process of healing.
Elevate the sting area
The most common and vulnerable body parts for bee stings are the arms and legs. If you have been stung on your leg or arm, consider elevating it. Elevation may result in the reduced fluid in the swollen area.
The bee sting first aid: quick recipe
Dr. Josh Axe recommends following the simple recipe for a quick bee or wasp sting relief at home or during vacation. You can prepare the ingredients beforehand to create the bee sting remedy as soon as you need it. Keep in mind that this remedy can help only if you don’t have any signs of the bee sting allergy:
- Pour the contents of 1 capsule with the activated charcoal into a small bowl;
- Then add a ½ tablespoon of coconut oil (preferably 100% organic and pure);
- Mix the ingredients well.
- Gently apply the remedy on the sting area;
- Re-apply every 30 minutes until you stop feeling itching and discomfort.
Additionally, you may cover the affected area with a clean and dry bandage after applying this wasp sting remedy.
How can you prevent the bee stings?
If you know about your or your family member’s negative bee sting reaction and you want to prevent it, especially to reduce the risk for little kids and infants, you may follow the guidelines offered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Consider staying away from the flowering plants and bushes, wasp nests, and bee hives;
- Perfumed soaps, conditioners, shampoos, deodorants, and lotions may attract bees and wasps, so opt for avoiding them, especially the products with the strong, synthetic aromas;
- Try wearing light-colored, body-covering, and smooth finished clothes that do not attract bees;
- Bananas can also attract bees, so try avoiding them outside;
- Avoid panicking if you have noticed a single bee or wasp flying around you. Waving your hands certainly can’t help scare away the insect – you will only make it more aggressive.
If you noticed the symptoms of allergy after getting stung by a bee or wasp, don’t hesitate to seek a medical help as soon as possible and bring along the Epinephrine auto-injector. If not treated fast enough, the bee allergy may cause suffocation.