Q:

How does toothpaste soothe a bee sting?

A:

Quick Answer

Toothpaste eases the pain in a bee sting because the glycerin dries up the venom latent inside the area of the sting. Combining toothpaste with ice on the area around the sting eases the pain for many people after about 20 minutes, according to Mother Earth News.

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Full Answer

Before applying the toothpaste, the first step is to look for a stinger, as some species of bees leave them behind. Pulling the stinger out and removing the sac of venom attached keeps more venom from working its way into the sting. A fingernail, pair of tweezers or the edge of a credit card helps to slide the stinger out without squeezing the venom sac. Washing the area thoroughly with soap and warm water removes even more venom from the spot before applying toothpaste, as stated by Mother Earth News.

Before applying the toothpaste, it is important to dry the area completely to maximize the benefit. If one plans to ice the sting as well, icing should happen for 20 minutes before the sting victim dries the area again and applies toothpaste. Other helpful remedies include Caladryl calamine lotion and a paste of meat tenderizer, baking soda and vinegar, when it comes to relieving pain and swelling, notes Mother Earth News.

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