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:
- Remove the stinger from the skin:
- Avoid pushing on the stinger, because this forces venom into the skin.
- Gently scrape the skin with a butter knife or fingernail.
- Apply a cold compress:
- Apply for 20 minutes t the sting site
- Clean the area with soap.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment.
- For stings to the limbs, elevate the area above your heart.
- Apply 1% hydrocortisone cream for itching.
- Take oral antihistamines for hives.
- Acetaminophen for pain
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
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:
- Intravenous fluids
- Oxygen therapy
- Carry an epinephrine syringe:
- Learn to use the syringe for severe allergic reactions.
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
- Allergy shots
Continue to Bee Sting Home Care
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