Health and MedicineFirst aidWhat to do before a bee sting

What to do before a bee sting

First aid when a bee sting occurs: what to do, how to act and what care to follow when a bee stings you? We will discover it for you in this article.

With the arrival of spring, and especially with the arrival of good weather, we tend to spend more time outdoors outside the home. Due to this, during this time of year bee stings  tend to increase significantly, being more common precisely because there is more pollen and both bees and wasps are more active.

At the time a sting occurs, and the wasp or bee stings the person, one of the most common reactions is to feel intense pain. Then, within a few minutes, a papule (reddish-colored raised skin with a central dot arising at the point where the insect bit) appears, accompanied by redness and swelling. It is a normal reaction that is generally short-lived, whose pain can be more or less intense depending on the place, followed finally by itching, which tends to last a few hours.

These symptoms appear quickly after the bite, resolving within a few hours. This reaction is a response of the tissues to the components of the venom injected by the bee or by the bird, which has a high pharmacological and enzymatic power and which ultimately, is nothing more than the result of the sum of different substances in its great most toxic.

What to do if I am stung by a bee and I am allergic?

Although the symptoms that appear after a bee sting are usually annoying and painful but actually disappear after a few hours, the problem arises when the person has an allergy to bee stings. This reaction usually appears in people who are sensitized to bee venom, which means that it is acquired over time, its appearance being more common when a previous sting has already occurred.

This means that if you have never been stung by a bee you will not develop the allergy, so that sensitization and therefore the allergic reaction will tend to appear especially if an insect of this type has already stung you before, since it is from this first sting when in some people their immune system is activated in order to produce allergy.

An allergic reaction can be suspected when reactions appear in places of the body other than the bite, affecting different parts of the body. For example, when a bee stings our hand and our lips or eyelids swell. Also when difficulty breathing appears, desire to vomit with dizziness, hives. In the face of a bee sting you must quickly extract the stinger  since otherwise it will continue injecting poison. To achieve this, the safest way is to scrape with your fingernail or with a blunt object (for example a credit card). Then quickly go to the nearest medical center.

There are certain medical treatments that can be useful in these cases while we arrive at the medical center:

  • Inhaled bronchodilators: help open up the airways, and are essential for treating shortness of breath.
  • Self-injectable adrenaline: if several symptoms appear at the same time (such as difficulty swallowing, wheezing, dizziness, vomiting…) it means that anaphylaxis is taking place. In this case the only treatment is adrenaline.

What if I am not allergic but I am stung by a bee? What I can do?

1. Extract the stinger

Whether you are allergic to a bee sting or not, you should not quickly remove the stinger, since otherwise it will continue to inject poison into your body. To achieve this more easily you can scrape the bite area with a fingernail or a credit card.

You should avoid using tweezers as this will squeeze the venom sac and it will inject faster.

2. Wash the bite area

It is very useful to wash the area where the bee sting has occurred with soap and water.

3. Apply ice

Ice helps reduce swelling and ease pain. To apply it, wrap some ice cubes in a cloth and put it on the bee sting, leaving it to act for 20 minutes. You will see how the discomfort gradually disappears. It is also helpful in preventing toxins from spreading throughout the body.

However, if the pain reappears again you can apply ice again after a few hours.

4. Honey Natural Remedy

If you are looking for a simple natural remedy to help relieve the sting, you can apply honey. It is a natural option that helps keep the area fresh, with a gentle tingling that will also relieve the sting for 30 to 45 minutes. To apply it, you just have to put a little honey between your fingers and then pass it over the bite with the help of a gentle massage.

5. Natural antiseptic solution

If you want to make a natural antiseptic to help you wash the area, you can mix 2 teaspoons of tea tree essential oil and 2 teaspoons of witch hazel extract in a bowl. Then apply on the burn.

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