Spring is in full swing – and with it, more bees are buzzing about. For most people, this isn’t really a big deal. But for a certain segment of the population, bees don’t equate to honey, pollen and sure-fire signs of the approaching summer; they mean a potential sting with severe allergic reaction. About 3% of people in the U.S. are allergic to bee stings. An even smaller percentage (less than 1%) has a severe allergic condition known as anaphylaxis, which includes symptoms such as a body-wide rash, low blood pressure and throat swelling. In these rare cases, an Epipen (dose of epinephrine) is usually carried at all times, especially during the spring and summer.
Common bee sting treatments include a variety of ointments, wound treatment methods and the advice of a trained medical professional. We’ve compiled a handy list to follow, in the event you need to treat a bee sting.
- Get safely away from the bees. If you’re treating a bee sting and other bees are nearby, you may be soon treating tens (if not hundreds) of stings.
- Remove the bee stinger. Quick action is a necessity here; the longer the stinger remains lodged under the skin, the more venom will be present in the body. You can pull the stinger out, scrape it away (a credit card can be used), or use tweezers for safe removal. Try not to squeeze the stinger or barb; this will simply empty more venom into victim’s wound area.
- Apply ice to the wound area. This will keep swelling under control.
- Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain and swelling relief. 2-3 tablets should suffice.
- When possible, thoroughly wash the wound area with soap and water.
- If the pain persists for more than a few hours after steps 1-5, seek medical attention.
WARNING: If the victim shows signs of dizziness, a rash, trouble breathing or other severe symptoms, seek immediate medical care.
Other curious home remedies include toothpaste, a mix of meat tenderizer, vinegar & baking soda, calamine lotion and even honey!
We hope this information is useful, should you or a loved one experience a bee sting. Remember, it’s always a good idea to visit an immediate care facility if you’re not sure how to treat a bee sting. Luckily for people in Arizona and Nevada, Urgent Care Extra is ready to help in a moment’s notice. If you’ve been stung by a bee or require other urgent medical attention, stop in to one of our 40+ facilities across the Southwest U.S.
For more information about our specific suite of services, call our main office at (480) 840-3075. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to serving your medical needs today. Thanks again for checking out the UCE blog!