To bee, or not to bee, that is the real question. Anyone that’s been stung by a bee would definitely choose the latter.
Bee stings result in itching, redness, and painful, swollen bumps around the affected site. These stings are usually harmless and the pain fades away after a few days unless the person has an allergic reaction to the sting in which case immediate medical attention is required.
Home remedies prove especially useful in reducing pain and discomfort and can speed up the healing process. In this blog, we highlight a few, effective home remedies for bee stings.
Before you resort to using any remedy, it’s important to begin by removing the stinger from the skin by scraping it off with a fingernail or using a blunt object like a credit card to swipe it off. Do not squeeze the stinger by hand or use tweezers as it might lead you to accidentally inject more venom into the skin. Unlike wasps and hornets, honey bees can only sting once because their stinger breaks off (and they die soon after). The following remedies can help.
Honey contains numerous medicinal properties and is used to reduce swelling and combat inflammation. It has antibacterial agents that prevent infection and speed up healing. Spread a small amount onto the affected area and cover it up with a loose cloth or bandage for around 15 minutes. Do this indoors so that the smell of honey doesn’t attract more bees.
Essential oils have long been used as home remedies and contain antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. Mix it with a neutral carrier oil such as olive oil. Examples include witch hazel, thyme oil, rosemary oil, lavender oil, and tea tree oil.
Researchers aren’t exactly certain how toothpaste helps with bee stings, but it’s been theorized that the alkaline within the paste neutralizes bee venom. If this is true, then it won’t help against alkaline wasp venom. Toothpaste is a simple and inexpensive home remedy and applying a small dab is sufficient.
Aloe Vera Gel
A plant-based gel that moisturizes and soothes the skin naturally. A study has also shown that aloe vera extracts contain anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Spread a small amount onto the sting area to prevent infection and further swelling.
Calamine lotion is a common home remedy that is used to reduce pain and relieve itchy skin.
It is important to note that certain symptoms associated with bee or wasps’ stings include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of consciousness, troubled breathing, dizziness, and severe itching all of which are indications of a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis or an anaphylactic shock. It can prove fatal and requires immediate emergency medical attention.
Although bee stings are common and prove harmless most of the times, some situations may require immediate medical attention as home remedies won’t be enough. Our first aid training courses in BC will equip you with the knowledge required to deal with medical emergencies. Contact us today!