Taking the Sting out of Bee Stings

Bees and other flying insects like wasps, hornets and yellow jackets, all have stingers that inject venom into their victim’s body and Bee stings can be painful, but there are several things you can do to take the “sting” out just by following a few bee sting remedies.

It’s important to note that some people are highly allergic to bee stings and those people should seek medical treatment immediately. Symptoms of those that are allergic include difficulty breathing, wheezing, severe swelling, dizziness, shock and sometimes even unconsciousness.

It is estimated that approximately 50 deaths occur each year from anaphylactic shock caused by bee stings and other types of insect bites and stings.

Bee Sting Remedies

For those who are not allergic to bee stings, try the following remedies to ease the pain.

• Remove the stinger.
Using a scraping motion, scrape the area with your fingernail, a credit card, or back of knife to remove the stinger. Avoid squeezing the area, as this releases more venom into the system.

• Make a baking soda paste.
Mix a small amount of baking soda and water and apply the paste to the sting to relieve pain, itching and swelling.

• Apply meat tenderizer.
The enzyme known as papain that is in meat tenderizer dissolves the toxins from the venom and soothes the itch. Apply unseasoned meat tenderizer to the sting as soon as possible. Carry a bottle of meat tenderizer with you on camping trips, hikes, and other outings. The sooner the tenderizer is applied, the better it works.

• Take an antihistamine.
Oral antihistamines, like Benadryl, help to ease the itch and relieve swelling. Benadryl is another item you should always have on hand.

• Cool it down.
An ice compress can help to relieve both the pain and swelling of a bee sting.

• Apply an anti-itch lotion.
Over-the-counter products, such as Calamine Lotion or Caladryl Anti-Itch Lotion can relieve the itchiness and pain of a bee sting.

• Take aspirin or Ibuprofen.
Take as often as every four hours to relieve the pain and swelling from a sting. You can also rub an aspirin into the bee sting. Note: Aspirin has been linked to Reye’s syndrome in children, so avoid this remedy in children.

• Raise the area.
If the sting is on your leg, try to keep it elevated for at least 30 minutes after removing the stinger, to lessen pain and swelling.

Avoiding a Bee Sting

Follow these tips to help avoid future stings:

  1. Avoid bright, flowery clothing, which attracts bees. Wear white to be less noticeable.
  2. Forgo the perfume and aftershave. The bees love it more than you do!
  3. Forget the bright, shiny jewelry too – another fatal attraction!
  4. Eat onions and garlic so you don’t smell so sweet. Honeybees like sweet stuff!
  5. Take a Vitamin B supplement, for the same reason as number 4.
  6. Avoid going outdoors barefoot. You’d sting too if someone stepped on you!
  7. Keep food covered as much as possible at picnics, and keep lids on garbage cans to avoid attracting bees.
  8. Move away from a bee or other stinging insect calmly. Waving or swatting will only agitate them and make them more likely to sting you.

Summary

If you’ve been stung, try taking the sting out with the  bee sting remedies listed above. Remember, if you have trouble breathing, experience severe swelling, wheezing, or dizziness, you should seek medical help immediately. These are allergic reactions which can lead to unconsciousness, or even death. However, if you are just experiencing mild pain and itchiness with slight swelling around the area of the sting, the remedies above should give you some relief.

Reference

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