What to do For a Bee Sting? Top 10 Bee Sting Treatments
A bee sting can be as uncomfortable and painful of an experience as it can be. Especially now that the warmer months are in where most of these pint-sized yet toxic stinging insects are most active; extra measure should be done to prevent getting stung. Despite defensive strategies though, accidents are always inevitable. So what to do for a bee sting?
Listed below are top bee sting treatments that when applied immediately, can greatly help alleviate the distressing symptoms, from severe pain to inflammation and possible infection. Aside from these all-natural homemade bee sting remedy, remaining calm which includes not waving your hands and running wildly around is crucial to avoid further bringing harm to yourself. Prevention is also better than cure. But if you still get stung, simply follow these steps below to help ease the discomfort.
What to Do for a Bee Sting
Remove Stinger Then Apply Ice
The very first thing on what to do for a bee sting before administering any bee sting remedy is of course to remove the stinger embedded in your skin immediately. A few seconds is all it takes for the venom to spread all throughout your system. In doing so, be extra careful not to pinch the stinger; it will be like injecting the venom yourself when you pinch it. The technique is not pulling. Instead, use a flat surface like a blunt knife or a plastic card to scrape across the bee sting and wedge the stinger out. After washing the area with antiseptic soap and water, apply an ice compress for roughly 15 minutes to constrict the blood vessels and prevent the venom from spreading further. It will also reduce the swelling of the affected area and numb the pain. Remember to elevate your arm or leg if you’re stung in that area to lessen the blood flow.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is probably the queen of home remedies, treating inflammation and pain in a wide range of medical problems. No wonder it’s also an effective bee sting treatment, though it may sting during initial application. An unfiltered apple cider vinegar can neutralize the venom and pacify subsequent bee sting symptoms. To benefit from this, simply saturate a sterile cotton ball and rub it over the stung area. You can repeat this 3 to 4 times a day. You can also use a non-sticky and absorbent bandage, soaked with apple cider vinegar, to put over the sting, applying it for about 20 minutes at a time.
Instead of applying steroid or antihistamine cream which is more traditional, try using baking soda. In fact, with its alkalizing ability to neutralize the reaction of the acidic venom and address itchiness and inflammation while providing a soothing effect in the process, it’s not surprising baking soda is famous for being an effective bee sting remedy, and a wasp sting treatment too. To do this, make first a lump-free baking soda paste by mixing 1 tablespoon of the powder with enough water in a small bowl. Apply the paste on the area for roughly 15 minutes before washing it away with lukewarm water. Do so 2 to 3 times a day.
Just like the baking soda explained above, the generic white toothpaste (not the whitening, colored, or gel variants) also has the same neutralizing effect to the venom thereby subsiding the itchiness, swelling, and pain. This makes this kitchen essential not just an effective teeth-cleaner but a bee sting treatment too. Simply smear a pea-sized blob of white toothpaste on the stung area and leave it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before cleaning it off with a damp washcloth or cool water. You can repeat this process after a couple of hours if you deem it necessary.
To be an expert on what to do for a bee sting, go all-natural with witch hazel. Be it bee sting, mosquito bites, wasp sting, you name it; witch hazel is an all-purpose home essential. An efficient anti-inflammatory agent, this astringent made from the bark and leaves of the witch hazel plant calms swelling and helps ease the itching and pain. Just dab a pinch of refrigerated witch hazel directly on the sting site and allow it to dry on its own. If needed, apply it again any time of the day.
The insect that gave you the throbbing sting can also help subdue the effect through honey. Aside from quelling the symptoms of swelling and itch, raw honey is even more notable in diluting the venom, in so doing warding off any potential infection, with its anti-inflammatory properties together with 5,000 different enzymes. The glucose oxidase enzyme (GOx), or notatin, in particular, catalyses the oxidation of glucose to produce hydrogen peroxide when applied to the sting wound. This will serve as an inhospitable environment where bacteria can’t survive. This is also why honey won’t spoil since hydrogen peroxide inhibits microbial growth. To benefit from honey, simply apply a small amount of pure and raw honey on the stung site and let it dry before rinsing off with warm water. You can do this repeatedly if needed each day.
Pungent onion is an efficient bee sting remedy that has been used for centuries by Swiss farmers. The compound quercetin found in onion acts as a natural anti-histamine that breaks down the substances responsible for the discomfort, pain, and swelling, relieving the allergic reaction of the bee sting along the way. Simply cut a freshly picked raw onion in half. Apply the cut side over the sting and hold it in place for about 20 minutes. You may need to do the process again for a few times each day until the symptoms subside.
Highly renowned as an incredible multi-purpose detox agent, activated charcoal is a must-have in the list of what to do for a bee sting. By drawing out any venom left, it helps calm bee sting, and even wasp sting and spider bite symptoms, almost immediately after application. Just mix some activated charcoal in its powder form with water or oil to make a paste and apply it to the swollen area. You can likewise repeat the process every day if necessary.
Lavender Essential Oil
The essential oil of lavender has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antiseptic qualities, making this wonder herb a very effective bee sting treatment. It addresses the swelling, itching, a possible infection, and provides a calming effect. It is recommended that use diluted lavender oil—though you can still use undiluted one—watered down in olive oil or any carrier oil of your liking. In doing so, simply mix in 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 5 to 6 drops of lavender essential oil and apply it to the bee sting site with a clean cotton ball. Repeat this twice or thrice a day for better results.
Last but not least, meat tenderizer contains an enzyme called papain which breaks down the proteins that made up the bee venom, making it an effective bee sting remedy. This makes it an excellent treatment for mosquito bites too. To take advantage of its benefit, simply make a paste by mixing in meat tenderizer with enough water in a small bowl and stir it well to achieve a lump-free consistency. Cover the affected area completely with the paste for 20 minutes before cleaning it off with water or a damp towel. Repeat this treatment 2 to 3 times during the first day to soothe the inflammation and neutralize the venom.
So next time a seemingly insignificant yet potentially lethal bee, just follow these steps on what to do for a bee sting. When the condition still seems to worsen though, consulting a doctor will always be the priority.