Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms allergic reaction Evaluation Treatment severe allergy Home Care itching pain in adults pain in children warning signs Underlying Cause

Bee Sting Treatment

General care for a bee sting includes removing the stinger from the skin, skin cleansing, cold compresses, oral antihistamines, topical corticosteroids, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain.

Those who develop sudden faintness, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face or mouth should seek care immediately. Those who have had a severe allergic reaction to a bee, wasp, or hornet sting in the past should also seek emergency care immediately after a sting.

Treatment for bee, wasp, and hornet stings includes:

Those who have not had three tetanus shots in the past should receive a tetanus shot as soon as possible. Those who have received three tetanus shots in the past need a tetanus shot within three days if they have not had a tetanus shot in the past five years.

For more information:

Bee Sting Severe Allergy

Treatment for a severe allergy to bee, wasp, and hornet stings includes:

Those who have had severe reactions in the past should carry epinephrine with them at all times. Epinephrine is available under the brand names, Epi-Pen and Auto-Inject, which are pre-loaded syringes that are designed for consumer use. The medication is injected into the thigh at the first sign of serious symptoms.

Long term treatment for an allergy to bee, wasp, and hornet stings may include:
  • Immunotherapy for insect stings

Continue to Bee Sting Home Care

Last Updated: May 10, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Bee Sting References
  1. Golden DB, Kagey-Sobotka A, Norman PS, Hamilton RG, Lichtenstein LM. Outcomes of allergy to insect stings in children, with and without venom immunotherapy. N Engl J Med. 2004 Aug 12;351(7):668-74. [15306668]
  2. Graft DF. Managing insect sting allergy. The ins and outs of venom immunotherapy. Postgrad Med. 2005 Jul;118(1):38-42. [16106918]
  3. Moffitt JE. Allergic reactions to insect stings and bites. South Med J. 2003 Nov;96(11):1073-9. [14632354]
  4. Steen CJ, Janniger CK, Schutzer SE, Schwartz RA. Insect sting reactions to bees, wasps, and ants. Int J Dermatol. 2005 Feb;44(2):91-4. [15689203]
  5. Stibich AS, Carbonaro PA, Schwartz RA. Insect bite reactions: an update. Dermatology. 2001;202(3):193-7. [11385222]
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