Unfortunately, bee stings can sometimes be inevitable and cause extreme pain. Some stings can potentially cause serious allergic reactions for some if not addressed promptly, as well. There are more than 200,000 cases of bee stings per year, and every age group stands at risk of being affected by these dangerous pests. Some common symptoms of a sting may include swelling, rash or redness, itchiness, and pain. In more severe cases, skin reactions such as hives and flushed skin occur, along with dizziness and swelling of the throat and tongue. Although the less severe symptoms can often be treated using home remedies, the more severe cases need a doctor’s attention urgently. Below are some home remedies to treat bee stings, followed by some steps to take if you feel yourself beginning to develop an allergic reaction upon being stung.
- Baking soda – First, create a thick paste with baking soda and water. Then apply it on the bee sting(s) and cover with a bandage. Leave on for about 15 minutes and repeat if needed. This method will help reduce the swelling, pain, and itching.
- Honey – This remedy is very similar to the baking soda treatment. Apply honey directly to the bee sting and cover with a bandage. You can leave this one on for about an hour and repeat if necessary.
- Toothpaste – This treatment is very easy and quick. Simply place a very small amount on the bee sting and leave on for a desired amount of time.
- Meat tenderizer – Create a concoction of four parts water and one part meat tenderizer, place on the bee sting for as long as 30 minutes.
- Ice or hot compress – Apply ice or hot compress to the sting for approximately 20 minutes and repeat as many times as necessary. This will significantly reduce the pain and swelling.
- Garlic and coconut oil – Heat up one teaspoon of coconut oil over low heat then crush 1 or 2 garlic cloves into the pan. Allow the mixture to cool down and then apply directly to the bee sting. Then, let the liquid absorb into the skin and whip off with a clean towel. You can repeat this method 3-4 times a day or however long that it is necessary.
Treatment Steps and Allergic Reactions:
- Check to see if the stinger is still present at the sting. You can do this by looking for a small, black dot near the center of the sting site. If it happens to be present, remove with a hard tool, or a credit card. Do not use tweezers to remove the bee sting because break the bee’s stinger and it will stay in the sting area.
- Once the sting is clear of the stinger, use ice or a cold pack to reduce pain and swelling.
- When swelling and pain has gone down, clean thoroughly with soap and water. After the area is clean, you can perform some of the home remedies that are listed above. Take an oral medication such as Benadryl to reduce the swelling and itchiness.
- Contact a medical professional immediately if you have had any severe allergic reactions in the past, or are experiencing any vomiting, extreme swelling of the throat, hives or dizziness.
- If you aquire more than a dozen bee stings, even if you are not allergic, there can be serious reactions. A few of these symptoms include, headache, fever, dizziness, fainting, nausea and vomiting.
Bee Sting Prevention:
- Cover food and trash cans so bees will not be attracted to your living space.
- Hire a professional to remove all hives and nests from your property.
- Wear closed toed shoes and loose clothing to prevent any bees from coming in contact with your skin.
- Avoid swatting at bees when they are flying around you in open spaces, this will only make them more irritated.
- Be sure to not wear any bright colored clothing, because this will attract the bees.
- If you do happen to get stung, cover your nose and mouth immediately and seek cover in a building or car. Bee’s let off a chemical when they sting which attracts other bee’s to the area.
When to Seek a Doctor or Emergency Care
Many individuals have no idea that they may have an allergy to a bee’s sting until they have been stung, and there are some cases where stings can become very serious without any allergic reaction. If your sting doesn’t seem to be healing, you have a weak pulse, paleness of the skin, or sweaty skin, seek medical attention at once. The symptoms will only get worse and could put you at risk of some serious health issues.