Who doesn’t like to play in the garden or at the park every once in a while? More so, when summer finally draws the curtains on the winter season, it is only normal to want to explore the freedom and finally get some natural heat on your skin. But there are some critters who are as eager to see the first rays of sun in summer as you are – the bees. It is also not uncommon to have them flying around where people are.
More often than not, bees’ summer adventures may include landing on your skin where they get so excited and leave a few stings on it. A good number of people have had the painful bee-stinging experiences and would not forget such experiences in a hurry.
Sadly, some bee stings are really more painful than others and depending on how the issue is managed, some may even be fatal. According to medical experts, unpleasant experiences from poorly managed sting bites can be avoided if you know what to do and you do it immediately.
One thing you should keep in mind is that treating a sting immediately and swiftly will, often times, alleviate the pain and discomfort that comes with the bite.
What do you do when you or someone else gets stung by a bee? Come along with us and let us show you tested and proven first aid methods on how to deal with a bee sting.
Take out the stinger immediately
The stinger is usually visible to the eye and you can almost always detect its location. It is often about the same size as the tip of a ballpoint pen and will have the stinger itself as well as some of the flesh torn from the bee. In some instances, the bee may remain attached to this stinger.
Once you notice the sting, it is important to make an attempt to remove it. In fact, there’s no point trying, just take it out. Now, taking it out doesn’t require any special skill or tool of any sort.
If you have a credit card handy, that would be your rescuing knight. Just take the card and scrape the stinger out of the sting. Some people have suggested that doing this is even way more effective than trying to pinch out the stinger. However, some scientists are not of the same school of thought. They believe that taking the stinger out as quickly as possible is what’s important and a credit card may not be so reliable in this kind of situation where time is a major factor. Your fingernails may be better options in some cases.
However, irrespective of the option you choose, try not to pinch but sweep out the venom because pinching will release even more of the venom to the body.
Wash with cold water and soap
Taking the stinger out is one part of the first aid process, washing the venom away is another important part of the process. The purpose of the soap is to wash away residual venom if any. The cold water will soothe the affected areas when it lathers with the soap. You can then rinse off the lather properly by using lots of water.
Be on the lookout for allergy symptoms
Looking out for symptoms after a bee sting is important in a first aid process even if you’ve been stung before and didn’t have any allergic reactions. These reactions may develop quickly, worsen and may even become fatal under a pair of distracted eyes. To avoid really touching and tear-jerking stories, you will do well to look out for the following symptoms:
- Wheezing or difficulty in breathing
- Swollen lips, face, tongue, or throat
- A decline in blood pressure, fainting, or dizziness
- Skin allergies like rashes, paleness, itching, flushing or hives
- A weak or fast pulse
- Vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea
- Anxiety or restlessness
You should also take prophylactics like Benadryl after being stung even if you do not develop any allergic reactions.
Allergic reactions? Call 911
If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, don’t wait till you take your next breath, just call for help immediately. And during the wait, you should take an antihistamine like Benadryl or any other one you can readily find before something unpleasant begins to set in. And if you also have EpiPen, you can use that as well.
Home Remedies You Can Try
- Apply ice or cold water to the affected areas: You can choose to place ice wrapped in a towel on the affected area or just run cold water on it. If the area gets painful again, you can repeat the process. If, while using home remedies you notice a spread in the affected areas, call for medical help immediately
- Elevate the leg or the arm: If you got stung on your leg you should elevate it immediately and prop your leg on a set of pillows at a level that is above your heart. If it was on the arm, then place your arm at a higher level than your heart. Doing this will reduce the swelling and pain you may be experiencing
- Use baking soda paste: You can make a paste of baking soda and water, apply to the affected area and allow it to dry. Doing this may remove the venom immediately and soothe the swelling and pain. A paste of vinegar, baking soda and meat tenderizer may also do the magic
- Honey works: Apply honey to the stung area using a cotton ball or your fingers. Honey, although from the offending critter, is traditionally known for its unique antiseptic qualities. But you must ensure you use pure honey and not some syrup. In fact, it is advisable to use 100% honey that has no preservatives in order to achieve the best results
- Apply toothpaste: When applied to the affected area the tingling feeling from the toothpaste can reduce the itchy feeling of the sting
- Use apple cider vinegar: Damp cotton wool with some ACV and hold the ball against the stung area. You may experience a burning sensation, but it will relieve you of the pain