It is no surprise that the sting of a bee can send six-feet tall grownups to bed for 3 days straight if they have developed anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition that stems from an allergic reaction to bee stings. A bee sting is not restricted to the boundaries of a single age group. Still, it can affect any age category with the same intensity.
Suppose we are to throw light on some treatments that can be undertaken at home after a bee sting. In that case, we need to talk about the remedies’ effectiveness, be it over-the-counter medicines or home remedies. Over-the-counter medications are preferred over home remedies due to the superiority of the former’s scientific base over the latter.
However, in this article, we will demonstrate both approaches to dealing with bee stings across several age groups.
What should be done immediately after a bee sting?
1. Removing the stinger
Before diving into full panic mode, remember that if you do not remove the stinger on time, the venom will spread and make conditions more fatal. Bees are busy creatures of the wild that pollinate plants for humanity’s benefit and receive minimal food from the nectar they have.
When anyone attempts at hindering their progress, they will retaliate by stinging. After a bee stings, its stinger, filled with venom, gets lodged into the victim’s skin. In some cases, the venom sack located close to the stinger in bees is also found along with the stinger.
For safe removal of the stinger, use a credit card to slowly push out the stinger. Be cautious not to use tweezers to pick out the stinger because excess exertion of pressure on the stinger will result in its puncture and spread the venom even faster.
2. Ice it
After dislodging the stinger, you will notice that the area is unusually swollen and red. At this point, your skin is highly irritated by the venom from the bee sack and requires a cooling agent.
Thus, it is necessary to use ice packs around the swelling to ease the nerves and reduce the swelling visibly.
Apply the ice pack momentarily for 10 minutes until the swelling has visibly reduced.
3. Elevate the wound
If you’re like me, you must have sprained your ankle numerous times 😜. You would have been advised to elevate your sprained ankle to ease the swelling.
Similarly, if possible, elevate the area where you’ve been stung by the bee to reduce the swelling.
After following these three immediate precautionary measures after a bee sting, follow it up with some over-the-counter medicines.
Allergic reaction to bee stings: Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction that is life-threatening and can be a reaction to a bee sting. Often, the venom in a bee sting is fatal enough to cause an allergic reaction as deadly as anaphylaxis.
If a person gets stung by a bee and develops an allergic reaction to it, the first symptoms that will show are vomiting, nausea, and loss of consciousness. You can be sure it is anaphylaxis if hives start appearing on the face of the victim. If worse comes to worst, the victim will find it extremely difficult to breathe and try and gasp for breath. This is why anaphylaxis from a bee sting is considered to be fatal to life.
Thus, anaphylaxis patients MUST always carry preventive measures to combat emergencies such as a bee sting, which can be fatal to their life. Epinephrine, a drug used to cure anaphylaxis, should always be present with the person in the form of an injectable device. This will ensure quick recovery initiation from the allergic reaction.
We have linked two sources below, from where you can purchase epinephrine in the form of an injection, on your doctor’s approval, of course.
The dosage and choice of the syringe must be decided by your doctor.
Some home remedies to relieve the after-effects of a bee sting
Note that the following home remedies are not feasible for allergic reactions to bee stings that include anaphylaxis. You must follow the following home remedies in case you are suffering from an ordinary bee sting.
It is no joke to call it an ‘ordinary’ bee sting because allergic reaction or no allergic reaction, bee stings cause sharp pain.
Most of the ingredients for the following remedies are present in your kitchen and do not take up much time to do:
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda mixed with equal parts of water creates the perfect acidic paste for a bee sting. It is successful in reducing swelling as well as irritation.
Leave this mixture on for 15 minutes before washing it off. Reapply as needed.
Honey is a natural healing agent. Ironically enough, it comes from the very home of the thing that has caused you pain.
All innuendoes aside, honey proves as a staple ingredient when it comes to relieving pain and swelling.
Apply honey to the area and leave it there. Cover the area with a bandage.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
The traditional ACV is an ingredient that you will find in almost all home remedies, be it for beauty purposes or regular hacks.
Apply some diluted apple cider vinegar on the affected area by soaking a bandage in it. Reapply as needed.
You will notice a visible difference in the area after 20 minutes.
The swelling will have reduced, and the irritation will disappear.
4. Lavendar Essential Oil
Lavender essential oils are a great anti-inflammatory ingredient. They will 100% assist in reducing the swelling as well as the irritation.
To apply, mix a few drops of lavender essential oil with some carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil, and then apply it to the affected area.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is considered a magical plant used for almost every kind of human body-related problems.
It is considered a great healing agent and should be applied to the bee sting area to relieve the victim from swelling and itching.
Apply aloe vera directly from the plant. All you need to do is cut off a bit with a knife, cut it open, and scrape out the clear gooey substance inside.
Directly apply it to the affected area, and you will notice a considerable difference within fifteen minutes.
Please take note that these home remedies are not backed by science to help solve the bee sting. They have been passed down through generations and claim to effectively reduce swelling and itching due to the bee sting.
Over-the-counter Medicines to Treat Bee Stings
It is crucial to note that over-the-counter medicines are a superior alternative to home remedies and must be taken as a sure measure against curing bee stings.
We have listed a few over-the-counter medicines and direct links to where you can find them in Canada.
An antihistamine such as Diphenhydramine or Benadryl must be used to treat the swelling and itching. This is a sedating one. Get your own dose of antihistamine here.
If you want to try a non-sedating antihistamine, try Loratadine or Claritin. Purchase your own here.
Acetaminophen or Tylenol is used as a pain relief if the sting’s after-effects become unbearable. Find your own dose of Tylenol here.
3. Hydrocortisone cream
After washing the sting away with soap and water, it is recommended to apply some hydrocortisone cream on the affected area. This will help with the swelling and itching instantly. Get your own dose of hydrocortisone cream here.
Take the medicines mentioned above only if you are facing a local reaction to a bee sting. In case you are facing an allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), immediately contact your doctor before ingesting any medicine.