4 tips for bee sting reactions
Bees play a vital role in the environment, but their stings can be quite painful. “The most important thing to assess is if the sting has caused an allergic reaction,” says Dr. Stephanie Bergstein, a highly rated pediatrician in Carmel, Ind. If someone has been stung, here’s how to keep the situation under control:
- Keep the person who’s been stung calm. Everyone reacts to pain differently, says Bergstein, who recommends having an adult take several deep breaths or getting a child who is crying to focus on you to begin the treatment process.
- If you notice intense swelling, vomiting, hives, breathing trouble or dizziness, or if the redness starts to spread or streak, seek immediate medical attention because the person might be experiencing an allergic reaction. If the stinger is still in the skin, remove it as quickly as possible.
- If the area is light red and slightly swollen, then there is no allergic reaction. Disinfect the area and apply ice. n In most cases, Bergstein says the stinger won’t stay in the skin, but if you see a dark tiny fleck in the affected area, scrape over the top with a flat-edged surface. In some cases, you can pull it out by using your fingers.
- Treat the sting. Applying topical antihistamine or taking an oral antihistamine like Benadryl will take care of the redness and itching. Benadryl may also help reduce the symptoms of an allergic reaction.