Bee Stings: How to Treat Them and Signs of a Serious Reaction

With summer quickly approaching, more bees are leaving their hives to pollinate and interact with the world. Bees are a vital part of our ecosystem, but sometimes their bites can do serious damage to those of us who are allergic to their venom. If you get stung by a bee, follow these steps and seek medical help right away if you’re showing signs of an allergic reaction. 

Remove the Stinger With A Dull-Edged Object

If you’re stung by a wasp, you probably won’t have to remove the stinger. Wasps have a strong, durable stinger that doesn’t often detach. Honeybees have stingers that detach once they sting someone. If you’re stung by a honeybee, you’ll have to remove the stinger fast to stop the flow of the venom and prevent the sting from becoming infected. Tweezers should be avoided, since they can puncture the venom sack and worsen your symptoms. Gently scrape a credit card or butter knife over the wound to remove the stinger without irritating the bite or puncturing the venom sack.

Apply Cold and Pressure for Swelling

Honeybee venom isn’t dangerous unless you’re allergic to it, but it can cause uncomfortable symptoms like swelling and itching. You can reduce the swelling and relieve some of the pain by applying a cold compress or a small bag of ice wrapped in a paper towel. Don’t let the ice make direct contact with your skin, since wetness around the wound can increase your chances of getting an infection. 

Elevate the Area and Get Rest

Depending on where you’ve been stung, elevating that part of your body can help with the swelling. Propping the wounded part of your body, like your leg or arm, on a pillow can reduce swelling and discomfort.Bee stings can stay swollen for up to two days, and the symptoms can be very uncomfortable. 

It’s important to get rest while your body flushes the toxins out. Try taking a 20 minute nap after treating your bee sting, and make restful sleep a priority. Sleep gives your body a chance to focus on fighting the toxins and healing your wound so it doesn’t get infected. 

Signs of an Allergic Reaction

While most people will only deal with some pain and swelling after a bee sting, others might go into anaphylaxis, otherwise known as an allergic reaction. Shortness of breath, swelling in the tongue and throat, rashes or hives, dizziness and loss of consciousness can all be signs of a dangerous allergic reaction. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical help right away.

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Whether you need urgent or primary care, you won’t have to wait at MD365. We value your satisfaction with every part of your experience, which is why we offer rapid-result on-site testing. With MD365, you don’t have to worry about making an appointment. We accept walk-ins any day of the week, and our services are covered by most insurance policies. Visit one of our locations today to see why MD365 is the perfect one-stop clinic for you and your family!

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