A bee or wasp sting is an uncomfortable and often painful experience that is common during the warm months when these stings are more active and people spend more time outdoors. Generally, they do not escalate into anything more serious, but, sometimes theses injuries can lead to life threatening illness. Bee and wasps stings are also known as hymenoptera. The most common sting is from honeybees, but some wasps and other insects can also sting, particularly the vespidae family of wasps. Yellow jacket wasps are the most common cause of allergic reaction to insect stings in United States. Bees and wasps use their stingers as a mean of self-defense. The stinger contains poisonous venom that causes reactions in your body. A bee sting is a puncture wound or laceration in the skin caused by a bee. The venom contained in a bee or wasp sting includes a local toxic reaction at the site of attack. People experience different symptoms, ranging from temporary pain and discomfort to severe allergic reaction. For mild and moderate reactions, home remedies help ease the pain, swelling, itching and redness.
Most reaction to a sting are mild to moderate and do not involve a severe allergy. For example only 3 percent people experience any allergic reaction.
- Pain at the site of the sting- instant, sharp, burning pain that usually lasts for a few seconds.
- Itchy and painful swollen red mark
- The swelling and redness may peek at around 48 hours after the sting and last for up to a week.
- Swollen and painful joints can occur after several days (in rare cases).
Remove the stinger-
The first step is to immediately remove the stinger embedded in your skin. It takes just a few seconds for all of the harmful venom to enter your body. Scrape a sting site with the fingernail or use a tweezers to remove the stinger. Wash the area with antiseptic soap and water. Pat dry and apply some anti-septic ointment. You can also use calamine lotion to ease itching and swelling.
Baking soda paste-
Sodium bicarbonate (also known as baking soda) is a great bee sting home remedy. All you need is some baking soda and water. The baking soda will help relieving from swelling, as well as sooth itching. Add enough water to a bit of baking soda to make a paste. It should be thin enough that you can spread it over the sting. If the sting is on your hand, covering it with an adhesive bandage can be helpful. Rinse with cool and clean water before reapplying.
The next step is to apply ice compress on the affected area to get immediate relief from various symptoms. Cold temperature slows the distribution of inflammatory substances to the bite site. It also helps numb the pain as well as reduces swelling. Put some ice cubes in thin washed cloth and tie it. Hold this pack on the affected area for 10-15 minutes. Reapply every few hours until the pain and swelling are gone.
A number of practical steps can be taken to reduce the risk of being stung by a bee like wearing light colored clothes, keeping clothes clean or maintaining personal hygiene because sweat may make bees angry. Wear shoes and take care while doing any activities such as garden trimming that could provoke a nest.