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Stung by a Bee? Important Dos and Don'ts for Aftercare

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Being stung by a bee is never a pleasant experience; upon being stung, many people report feeling a sharp pain, accompanied by a burning sensation. Even hours or days after the sting, itchiness around the area, swelling, and soreness are common. Fortunately, by being aware of the important dos and don'ts to follow after being stung, you can recover from a bee (or wasp) sting much more smoothly.

DO Remove the Stinger Carefully

When you're stung by a bee, the stinger, along with the venom sac, will remain attached even after the offending bee has flown away or died. To reduce the amount of venom injected into your body, you'll want to remove the stinger quickly but carefully. The best way to do it is to scrape the stinger out of the skin using your fingernail or even a credit card. This will remove the stinger without pushing more venom out in the process.

DON'T Leave It to Heal on Its Own

Even once the stinger is removed from your skin, it's important to be proactive in preventing complications from your bee sting. This involves disinfecting the area to remove excess venom or bacteria in addition to applying a calming lotion to reduce itchiness. If you're in a lot of pain, you might also consider taking ibuprofen or another type of pain killer to help with that.

DO Take Steps to Reduce Swelling

Swelling of the area surrounding a bee sting is common, but there are steps you can take to reduce the swelling. The best way to soothe itching and reduce swelling is to apply an ice pack or cold compress to the area. Just be sure to wrap the compress in a towel or rag so as to avoid exposing your skin to dangerously cold temperatures.

DON'T Ignore Signs of a Reaction

Last but not least, understand that a small percentage (about 3%) of the population can actually suffer from a serious allergic reaction to bee stings known as anaphylactic shock; this can be a life-threatening reaction, so be sure to seek emergency medical attention right away if you experience any of the following symptoms following a bee sting:

  • shortness of breath
  • tightness in your chest
  • vomiting or nausea
  • an itchy red rash

By following these tips in the event of a bee sting, you'll be able to recover from the incident as quickly as possible and get on with your life. If you have a problem with bees in your yard or around your home or workplace, contact a representative from a service like ASAP Bee Removal to get that taken care of.