How Do You Treat a Bee Sting?


Quick Answer

For normal bee stings without a reaction, home treatment is enough, according to the Mayo Clinic. If a person has received multiple stings or shows an allergy, emergency treatment is necessary.

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How Do You Treat a Bee Sting?
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Full Answer

For a minor bee sting, the Mayo Clinic advises removing the stinger as soon as possible. You can do this with your fingers or a tweezer. It only takes a couple of second for the venom from the bee to get into the body. The area where the stinger was should be washed with water and soap. To relieve pain and ease swelling, a cold compress may be applied to the area.

For bee stings that show a moderate reaction, the Mayo Clinic urges patients to remove the stinger as quickly as possible, wash the area and apply a cold compress. Creams such as hydrocortisone or calamine lotion can help to alleviate the itching, redness and swelling that may appear. An oral antihistamine, like Benadryl, is also recommended if the swelling and itching are bothersome. The area should not be scratched as it can increase the risk of infection and worsen the swelling.

In the event of a serious reaction, the Mayo Clinic says to call 911 immediately. An autoinjector, like EpiPen, should be used as soon as possible, and the person should be given CPR, if not breathing, until help arrives.

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