Bee stings can be fatal if not treated on time, especially if you have allergic response to them. Bee are quite common and often pose a danger as a bee sting is venomous. One must be on the lookout for bee and bee hives.

Bees are equipped with a stinger for self-defense. The stinger contains venom that is transmitted during the sting. Bees can sting only once during an attack as their stinger remains and get stuck in the skin of the victim. Bee stings are pretty common during camping trips. A normal reaction to bee sting is swelling, pain and red itchy skin. Swelling duration is about a day for normal person with no allergic response to bee stings. Extensive swelling may cause shortness of breath, which demands immediate medical intervention.

Treatment for Bee Sting

Treatment should begin immediately after you are stung by a bee. The first thing you need to do is, remove the stinger. It is better to scrape it off your skin with a blunt knife or a piece of plastic. Do not try to remove it with your fingers, as you may accidentally squeeze more venom in your skin. Do not let the stinger remain in the skin; else you might get a more severe reaction.

Photo credit: windowbee.com

The next step is to flee the site of bee sting. Bees release a strong scent when they are in danger. This attracts other bees, which immediately come to their rescue. You definitely don’t want to hang around when the reinforcement arrives!

How to reduce swelling from bee sting

It is common to experience some swelling after the bee stings you. The extent of the swelling depends upon the site of the bee sting. Some body parts tend to swell more than the others. for instance, you will notice a considerable swelling, if the bee stung you on face, as opposed to hands or legs.

Try these methods to reduce swelling:

Ice Pack
Wrap an ice cube with a paper towel or cotton cloth. Then apply it over the area where you have got wasp sting and press it for 20 minutes. Repeat this treatment every hour till you feel relieved from itching and redness. This will lessen pain and swelling.

Epsom Salt
Add some water to Epsom salt, in order to make a thick paste. Apply it over the wasp sting to get rid of redness and swelling.

Apple Cider vinegar (ACV)
Soak a small cotton pad in ACV and place it over the affected area. The acid content in the vinegar will neutralize the venom present in the sting; thus, lessens swelling and inflammation.

Lemon Juice
Cut a wedge of lemon and hold the piece in the area affected by the wasp sting. Lemon works in similar manner as vinegar. The acid content in lemon neutralizes venom and helps reduce redness, itching and swelling.

Garlic
Crush a clove of garlic. Add some salt to it. Apply it over the area where wasp stung. Cover with a band-aid and leave it. This will remove the redness and swelling caused due to wasp sting.

Marigold
Rub the petals of freshly plucked marigold flowers over the stung area. These petals aid in diminishing the redness, itching and swelling of the affected area.

Honey
A degree of irony resides in this bee sting remedy since honey comes from bees, but honey is excellent for healing wounds. Apply a small dab of honey to the wound and cover with gauze or a small rag for 30 minutes to one hour. (If a person is allergic to bees or honey, do not use this remedy.)

Toothpaste
Like baking soda, toothpaste is a base that will help neutralize the acidic bee sting, thereby reducing pain and swelling. Apply the toothpaste to the wound for 20 to 30 minutes.
While vinegar may not actively relieve bee sting swelling, it can definitely distract your mind and ease your pain. It has been proved that rubbing safe ingredients on stings can release Endorphins and make you feel better. You can also rub bicarbonate soda for the same effect.

Check for Anaphylaxis

If the person has known allergic response to the bee sting and if he is not carrying an Epinephrine Auto Injector (Epipen), immediately call for medical help. do not wait for the symptoms to appear as this is an emergency. If the person does have Epipen with him, help him use it. the peculiar symptoms of Anaphylaxis include redness, itching, hives, shortness of breath. the swelling and redness do not confine to the site of the bee sting, but spread very rapidly, all over the body.

Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) can be used to slow down the effects of anaphylaxis and can fetch you some time before you get medical assistance.

When to seek medical attention

If the following symptoms occur, seek immediate medical advice:

  • If a bee stings inside your nose or mouth which will block the air passage and affect breathing.
  • When stung by several wasps.
  • If there is any difficulty in breathing due to the narrowing of the air passage.
  • If one experiences dizziness, nausea or blurry vision.
  • When there is an increase in heart rate and low blood pressure.
  • If there is an alarming swelling or itchiness in body parts that are not affected by the sting.
  • If there is any difficulty in talking or your speech is slurred due to the swelling of your tongue.

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