What to do After a Bee Stings You

Written by on October 23, 2012 in Health - No comments | Print this page

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Bees are one of those insects that you enjoy having around simply for pollination purposes, but that you wish you never had to personally come into contact with, mostly because of their desire to sting you.

Bee stings are not an enjoyable experience. The pesky sting not only hurts like crazy, but it can also cause inflammation that burns or itches until healed. And if you’re allergic to bee stings, it can cause your body to go into shock and may even cause death.

When a bee stings, they inject venom into their victim (and sometimes even their entire stinger). If you are not allergic to bee stings, the sting will usually hurt and may cause a minor irritation near the stung area. If you are allergic, you can experience a major allergic reaction that can vary from a rapid and unsightly rash to a complete breakdown of your system.

If you or someone you know is stung by a bee, here is a list of steps you can take to help care for your sting.

Move away from the area or go indoors.

Most bees tend to travel in groups, and if you’re stung by one bee, it’s possible there’s another bee around ready to sting you too. Once you are stung by a bee, it’s a good idea to move away from the area where the stinging occurred or get indoors as soon as possible. Multiple bee stings can be more harmful, especially to those who are allergic.

Remove the stinger.

If you notice that the stinger is still inside you, you’ll want to remove this as soon as possible. The stinger still contains venom, and the longer it’s inside your skin, the more venom that is traveling throughout your body. More often than not, a stinger can be removed with tweezers. If the stinger is completely underneath the skin, you may want to try and remove it with a needle or by scraping a credit card against the skin.

Take an antihistamine and a pain killer.

After the stinger has been removed, or even while it’s being removed, take an antihistamine, such as Benadryl. This will help combat any itching that may occur. You may also want to take a painkiller if you’re experiencing a lot of pain from the sting. Ibuprofen will also help keep any swelling from occurring at the location of the sting.

Ice the area.

Placing ice on the affected area will also provide some much-needed pain relief. Make sure to put a cloth between you and the ice so that you don’t harm your skin, and you can ice for about 20 minutes every hour.

Wash the area.

After you’ve iced down the area, make sure to wash it thoroughly with soap and water to remove any excess venom and get any dirt and debris out. This will help ensure that your sting does not become infected.

Seek medical attention.

If you are allergic to bees or if you’re experiencing any dizziness, vomiting, cold sweats or other symptoms, you’ll want to seek medical attention right away. If you have an epinephrine pen on you, you’ll also want to use that too to combat any reactions. Make sure to see your doctor or visit the emergency room to ensure that you are receiving the proper medical care and keep yourself from going into shock.

Bee stings are a giant nuisance, but most people will experience a bee sting at least once in their lifetime. It’s very important that you take all of these steps to treat a bee sting properly so that it doesn’t become infected or cause any other type of serious injury.

This is a guest post.  Prepared by Mariana S, Mariana works for Franklin, a company providing pest control in Syracuse Indiana.

Image courtesy of James Barker / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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