How do you treat a bee sting?

Video: How do you treat a bee sting?

When the bee pulls away and leaves the sting behind, it also leaves the muscles and venom sac. The muscles continue to pump venom into the victim for anything up to two minutes, so the most important thing is to remove the sting as quickly as possible. Scratch it out with a thumbnail or something like the back of a knife or the edge of a credit card. It is better not to try to pick it out between finger and thumb or to use tweezers, because to do so could well force more venom into the wound.

As for putting substances on the sting, remember the venom has been injected below the surface of the skin. Anything applied to the surface of the skin strong enough to reach the venom will probably do more harm than good.

A cold compress will help limit any swelling, and it is almost pointless looking for creams to ease the pain of the sting, because it will usually go away surprisingly quickly without treatment. Calamine lotion can help residual itching.

For most people, the initial pain and some swelling are the only effects, but some people are hypersensitive to bee venom and may experience more severe symptoms such as feeling faint or nauseous, or a rash on places other than the sting site. In these cases, get medical advice. If the victim becomes unconscious, or has any difficulty breathing, call an ambulance immediately.