Home Remedies to Help Treat a Bee Sting Reaction
If you have been stung by a bee and the symptoms are worsening, contact your healthcare provider to get timely medical attention. The board-certified and experienced family doctors at the Century Medical and Dental Center have years of experience, and they come up with effective treatments to alleviate your allergies and ease the symptoms. Most reactions to a bee sting are mild to moderate and do not lead to severe reactions but if you continue to experience pain and swelling, seek medical attention. The expert doctors are dedicated to improving your health and wellbeing, and helping to find the best solutions for your specific discomfort.
Honey Bee Sting – How to Deal With It
Honey bees are not only known for their waggle dance and honey. They are also popular for their painful stings that often turn serious if they are not addressed timely. When a bee stings, it usually leaves behind a barbed sting in the skin that releases venom. This venom or toxin can destroy the red blood cells and skin mast cells. As a result, the body activates the pain receptor cells and produces histamines that lead to pain, itching, swelling, and other symptoms.
Most people only have a localized reaction to a bee sting. A normal reaction to a bee sting is red skin and pain. Swelling or pain may also occur, but these symptoms usually disappear over a few hours. These problems tend to heal on their own without complications. They do not require a visit to the hospital unless the symptoms turn severe, the swelling, redness, and pain do not seem to be going away, and areas adjacent to the site of the skin begin to get affected.
You also need medical attention if you develop an allergic reaction that needs prompt treatment. Here are a few home remedies that alleviate bee sting reactions and symptoms of bee sting allergy effectively.
Home Remedies and Treatment for Bee Sting
If you have been stung by a bee, carefully inspect the site to check its condition and know the severity of the injury. Most people do not have severe reactions to single bee stings and they feel better with home remedies and over-the-counter medications.
First of all, you must examine the place where you have been bitten. If the bee’s stinger is still trapped or pierced in the skin, remove it first by scraping it with your fingernail or with the back of a knife. Do not use tweezers as they may end up squeezing the venom sac and release more venom into your wound. Wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water to clean the site. Once it is clean, you can use any of the home remedies that are popularly used for treating bee stings.
Here are the most effective home remedies to treat a bee sting reaction.
When mixed with water, baking soda can help to neutralize bee venom and reduce the pain, itching, and swelling caused by the sting.
Mix baking soda with a sufficient amount of water to make a paste. Apply a generous amount of this paste onto the affected areas. Cover the area with a bandage and leave it for at least 15 minutes. Reapply as required, and you will find relief.
Many people claim that alkaline toothpaste can neutralize the honeybee venom. While there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, many people have benefited from this remedy.
Applying a small amount of alkaline toothpaste to the affected area can help with the sting.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is known for its healing properties, and it can work wonders for bee stings too. It is known to neutralize the bee venom and provide relief from swelling and pain.
Pour apple cider vinegar into a basin and soak the affected area for at least 15 minutes. You can also use a piece of clean cloth. Soak the piece of clothing in the vinegar and dab it onto the stung part for relief.
It is an over-the-counter medication that is usually used to soothe the itchy skin. It is also very effective for alleviating the pain and itchiness caused by a bee sting.
Apply a thin layer of calamine lotion onto the bitten area and cover it with a bandage for best results.
Meat tenderizer contains an enzyme called papain that is believed to break down the protein that causes pain and itchiness after a bee sting.
Make a solution of one part meat tenderizer and four parts of water. Apply this solution to the area where you have been stung by a bee for up to 30 minutes, and you will find some relief.
Honey is known for its medicinal properties and has been used for centuries for its goodness. It contains compounds that fight inflammation and keep the swelling down.
The natural antibacterial agents in honey also prevent the spread of infection and speed the healing process. Spreading the injured area with a small amount of honey can reduce the inflammation and itchiness caused by a bee sting.
Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera is a plant that is known for its recuperative powers. Its gel contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that naturally soothe and moisturize the skin.
Spreading a little aloe vera gel onto the bee sting area can ease swelling and help to prevent the site from becoming infected or inflamed.
In most cases, bee stings can be cured at home with these simple products that are available in every household. Although these treatments are not guaranteed to work for everyone, they can help prevent worsening of the condition and make you feel better without rushing to the emergency room.
Symptoms of Bee Sting Allergy
You must pay attention to allergy symptoms that develop once you have been stung by a bee.
Common bee sting allergy symptoms include:
- Red, itchy welts, also known as hives;
- Increased heart rate;
- Difficulty breathing;
- Facial swelling;
- Tightness in the throat.
If you notice these signs, it means you are allergic to a bee sting. A bee sting allergy can also result in an anaphylactic shock, which is a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. An anaphylactic reaction can develop in less than an hour, and it can turn serious if you do not seek immediate medical treatment.
Treating Bee Sting Reaction and Allergy
If you have been stung by a bee and suspect an allergic reaction, seek immediate medical care as wasting time could be dangerous. The expert physicians examine the site thoroughly and check for stingers before proceeding with any treatment or medication.
Doctors recommend managing your bee sting symptoms and allergy by using over-the-counter medications and creams. The most commonly suggested medications to relieve pain and allergies include:
- Hydrocortisone creams – can help reduce redness, itching, swelling, and pain;
- Oral antihistamines – they keep down the itching and redness caused by the sting;
- Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories – help to ease the pain and swelling.
In severe cases of an allergic reaction, you may require an epinephrine injection.
In most cases, a bee sting is nothing more than a nuisance that results in temporary pain, itching, redness, and swelling at the sting site. Knowing how to relieve a bee sting is essential and will help to ease the discomfort quickly without affecting your life and routine. There are several bee sting home treatments that you can try to alleviate these symptoms and feel better.
If you begin to develop severe reactions that include difficulty breathing, nausea, and other symptoms, seek emergency medical assistance as they may turn life-threatening if they are not taken care of timely. The expert family physicians at the Century Medical and Dental Center identify the signs of severe allergic reactions and help you feel better with the best medications and home remedies that improve bee sting pain reactions and allergy symptoms.