Q:

What if I don't remove the bee stinger after I have been stung?

A:

Quick Answer

Bee stingers left in place continue to inject more venom into the sting, causing more swelling and additional pain. While conventional wisdom recommended scraping the stinger away using the edge of a credit card or other blunt object, the Mayo Clinic recommends getting it out any way possible.

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Full Answer

When honey bees sting, they leave their stinger. Removing the stinger within 15 seconds limits the amount of venom the stinger injects into the site. Within 45 seconds to one minute, the stinger empties all its venom into the site, according to the UC IPM Online.

The Mayo Clinic recommends washing the area around the sting and using cold compresses to help manage pain. Topical medications help to manage the pain and itching while reducing the chances of an infection.

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