What to do if you get stung by a bee

Immediate action

If you are stung by a bee, do not panic and, if possible, find someone who may be able to aid you. The reason for this is due to the importance of monitoring your symptoms and reactions to the sting in any possible case of being allergic and needing serious medical attention. If you are unable to seek help, do not worry, it is very easy to self-treat. Please note if the sting occurs near your eyes or is located in your mouth/throat, do not proceed with anything else other than getting medical advice and, if your reaction is severe: increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, dizziness or loss of consciousness, then at this point you must call the emergency services.

To begin with, identify the site of the sting; usually after stinging, a bee leaves its stinger, which will usually go along with its digestive tract and, in some cases, the venom sack also is left behind, which is why it is essential to act fast because the venom will continue to seep into your blood until its removed. The best way to do this is to use a blunt object (this is significant that it is not sharp, and you risk the possibility of puncturing the venom sack or forcing the stinger further into your skin), like a butter knife and scrape, gently, across the site.

The next step would be to apply a cold compress to help to alleviate the swelling in the area; this can be anything from a cloth rinsed under cold water or an ice pack. Just avoid directly applying ice, this may irritate. If possible, do this while elevating the area to increase blood flow, limbs are the best for this, and if it’s not possible, do not worry, the swelling should entirely reduce within a few days. If you are lucky enough to have a first aid kit that may contain any antihistamines, and you are not allergic, use it to also aid with the swelling and itching that will occur.

Further information

Additionally, for awareness purposes, swelling may appear much more significant than you expect it to be, for example, you hand my swell to twice its size if you are stung here. So, be wary and monitor the swelling along with your symptoms, as mentioned above, it typically may take a few days to dissolve. However, you should notice it, within a few hours beginning to decrease. If otherwise, and/or symptoms progressively get worse, such as: increase swelling from the original, flu-like symptoms, or the area begins to look akin to wound infection (increasing pain, pus, redness etc.), then it is essential to call your doctor/general practitioner for medical advice.

Article by Lovey Naomi