Picture this: you’re sitting out in the warm sunshine, enjoying a nice day, when suddenly, Ouch! You’re hit with a sharp pain right in your arm, completely ruining the moment. Let’s face it, a bee sting is never fun. It’s a horrible intrusion to such a pleasant moment, and can be incredibly painful to deal with. If you hope to be more prepared the next time you encounter a bee sting, check out these five tips below for the best ways to treat a bee sting.
- Determine if There’s an Allergy
Not only are bee stings incredibly annoying, but they can also be extremely dangerous. If you or the person who was stung has a known allergy, call 911 immediately. If you are unsure, keep an eye out for some common symptoms. If the person who was stung begins to have trouble breathing, feels faint or dizzy, develops hives or has a swollen tongue, then they are most likely having an allergic reaction.
- If so, Call 911!
If you do determine that there is an allergy, do not hesitate! Call 911 right away! Bee stings can be very dangerous to those who are allergic, so immediate action must be taken. Once the call has been made, inject epinephrine if it is available. There will be clear instructions to follow, and be careful to follow them closely.
- If not, Remove the Stinger
If there is no allergy, your next plan of action is to remove the stinger. Carefully scrape the area with a fingernail, or use tweezers or your fingers to remove the stinger. Whatever you do, don’t pinch the stinger – this can release more venom into the system. It is important to get the stinger out quickly. The longer it remains in the body, the more severe the reaction will be.
- Control the Swelling
There will likely be some swelling after the stinger has been removed. To treat it, ice the area. You can put a cloth towel between the ice and the skin for comfort, and don’t let the ice stay on the skin for too long. If the sting occurred on an arm or leg, take a few moments to relax and elevate the area. If you are wearing any jewelry, tight clothing, or accessories near the sting site, take it off now. Nothing would be more unpleasant than dealing with a bee sting and a bracelet that is stuck and cutting into your swollen arm.
- Treat Any Symptoms
As long as there is no allergy to the bee sting, you shouldn’t have any lasting symptoms aside from a little pain or itchiness. To deal with the pain, you can take an over the counter painkiller such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. They even have bee sting swabs to dull the pain, if you are so inclined to find them. You can also use an antihistamine to treat the itching. It may take a few days for the site of the sting to heal, so just be sure to keep the area clean to prevent infection. After this, you should be healed up and ready to go!
Bee stings aren’t uncommon, unfortunately, so knowing how to deal with them is important. Keep these five tips in mind when spending time outdoors so that you are prepared in the event of a pesky sting.