Bee stings are extremely painful. In severe cases, when bees attack kids or adults who are allergic to the venom contained in the sting, it can be fatal if left untreated. If you come across anyone who is allergic and has been stung by bees, immediately extract the stinger and seek medical help right away. However, in normal circumstances, they can be treated at home. Note these home remedies for bee stings.
The first thing to do when you encounter a case of a person suffering from a bee sting is to look for symptoms of anaphylaxis (a life-threatening condition), which can be detected by the extreme itchiness and redness of the skin. You will also notice hives or welts, and the person may complain of a sense of dizziness, and suffer shortness of breath as well.
Also see: Home remedies for wasp stings
Symptoms Of A Bee Sting
Bee stings have different reactions that can range from mild pain to very severe pain and discomfort leading to allergic reactions. The reactions may vary from time to time and depend on the species of bees as well.
- Sharp, burning pain surrounding the sting region.
- Formation of reddish welt at the sting area.
- Mild swelling around the sting region.
Moderate symptoms comprise stronger reactions leading to:
- Extreme redness around the stung part.
- Mild swelling that gradually progresses to a large swelling over a couple of days.
Note: Moderate symptoms can last anywhere from 5 to 12 days, and need not lead to severe allergic reactions to subsequent stings if any. In case the subsequent reaction is a bit severe, don’t fail to inform the doctor when you visit him or her.
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction to bee stings, which is a life-threatening condition requiring immediate medical assistance. However, only a minor segment of people suffers such severe reactions. Some of the symptoms include:
- Paleness of the skin, associated with hives and severe itching.
- Difficulty in breathing, often gasping for breath.
- Swelling up of the throat and tongue, difficulty in swallowing.
- Weak or racing pulse, with a sharp drop in blood pressure.
- Nausea and vomiting sensation, diarrhea in some cases.
- Feeling dizzy, with brief fainting spells.
- Losing consciousness for brief periods of time.
Caution: Multiple stings by a swarm of attacking bees are potentially very dangerous as a lethal quantity of toxic venom can accumulate in the blood, leading to severe complications. Such attacks lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It can also result in a severe headache, vertigo, convulsions, high fever, and dizziness with fainting spells. Multiple stings in children, senior citizens and those with a history of cardiac illness often turn out to be medical emergencies.
5 Best Home Remedies For Bee Stings
Note: Before commencing the treatment, make sure that the stinger embedded in the skin is removed using a pair of tweezers or scissors. Most of the venom would already have been injected; however, to prevent the rest of it joining the blood stream and to clean the stung skin region, it is important to remove the stinger first.
5. Apply An Ice Pack
- Take a handful of ice cubes from your fridge (or from the neighbor’s)
- Bundle the ice cubes in a piece of soft cotton cloth.
- Place the ice pack on the sting region for a few minutes.
- Repeat the process as many times as required until the pain
How Does This Work?
A bee sting not only leaves a superficial wound, but it also causes bleeding in the underlying tissue. This is what causes the intense pain and swelling. Ice works wonders by coaxing the body to respond to the sting. It helps stem the bleeding into the tissues and contains the swelling effectively. Severe muscle pain and spasms associated with bee stings are controlled when an ice pack is applied immediately after the sting.
The ice pack reduces the temperature surrounding the skin and causes numbness; it also prevents the stiffening of the sting part and prevents tissue fluid from accumulating in the sting area. Ice pack treatment also helps in reducing the burning sensation associated with bee stings, and that is why it is considered one of the best home remedies for a bee sting.
The Remedy Is Not Good, If:
- The bee sting is severe and leads to an anaphylactic shock. This is a life-threatening situation and needs instant medical attention.
- You are applying ice directly on the skin. It can lead to frostbite, causing further damage to the skin.
4. Lavender Essential Oil
- Take a few drops of pure, undiluted lavender essential oil.
- Take a few drops of virgin coconut oil.
- Apply the coconut oil on the sting region first.
- Add two to three drops of undiluted lavender oil on sting region.
- Massage the lavender oil on the infected region for a few minutes.
- Repeat the entire process two to three times in the course of the day.
How Does This Work?
Lavender belongs to the mint family and its oil has been used as an effective herbal remedy for thousands of years. The oil is used extensively for preparing balms, salves, perfumes and other cosmetic preparations. Lavender essential oil has over 47 chemical compounds including dimethyl vinyl hexenyl butyrate, which is the main constituent, as well as octatriene, Eucalyptol, Camphor, etc.
The antioxidant property of lavender essential oil has been established after conducting the carotene-bleaching test. It has also been evaluated for its antimicrobial properties and found to be effective against bacteria. It has been used successfully in the treatment of patients suffering from allergic rhinitis. Moreover, the soothing effect lavender oil has on skin makes it one of the favorite home remedies for bee sting.
It helps reduce the itching, which can often leave you infuriated, and works on the swelling and helps reduce it as well. As using undiluted lavender essential oil may be harsh on tender skin, it is advisable to coat the infected skin part with coconut oil to reduce the intensity of this wonder oil, which is a must-have in all homes.
The Remedy Is Not Good, If:
You are using undiluted lavender essential oil on the skin. Doing this can aggravate the tender skin and worsen the condition of a bee sting site. Either use coconut oil as a protective coating or mix lavender essential oil with a few drops of coconut oil before applying.