Bee stings may appear like any other ordinary insect bite, but for a child, it can be painful, irritating, and may even lead to serious health risks. Let’s learn more about bee stings, what home remedy for bee sting can you apply and when to seek medical attention.
What happens when a bee stings?
A honeybee dies the moment it stings because it will leave its stinger on your skin. This stinger will release a certain amount of venom causing swelling, sharp pain, and redness on the site. This also means that a honeybee can only sting you once.
However, wasps and hornets do not lose their stingers and may sting you more than once.
Typically, a bee sting may resolve on its own after a few days. However, if you consider home remedies for bee sting swelling and itching may be reduced especially when applied right after the incident.
The first thing that you’ll need to do is to check the site and remove the bee stinger if left on the skin. The quicker you remove the stinger, the lesser will be the chance for it to emit its venomous toxin – which will lead to many of the symptoms.
Home remedy to remove the bee stinger
A honeybee stinger will appear barbed and usually have its venom sack attached on the top.
Gently stretch the skin flat using your index and forefinger, paying particular attention on the folds of the skin. This will expose most parts of the stinger.
Using the tip of your fingernail or the edge of an ID or credit card, gently scrape the stinger off the skin. Recheck if you have completely removed the stinger.
Another technique is to pull the stinger off using your tweezers. However, some experts are not advising this technique because it may squeeze the venomous sac and release more venom on the site. This claim still needs confirmation from scientific studies.
Nevertheless, many experts believe that how quickly you remove the stinger is more important than the method you use, so make sure that act quickly right after the stinging incident.
Kitchen Remedies For Bee Stings
After removing the bee stinger, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. Once the area is clean, you may apply the following home remedies to help relieve inflammation and pain on the site. The good news is that these remedies can easily be found in your fridge or kitchen cabinet.
When aiming to reduce swelling bee sting home remedy involving the application of ice is best. Applying ice right after removing the stinger will help localize the swelling and bee toxin as well as aid in pain relief.
When using ice, always use a cloth as a wrap or an ice pack before applying it on the skin. Direct ice application may injure the skin, especially for young children. Leave the ice pack for a couple of minutes and reapply as needed.
Another remedy that may reduce pain and swelling from bee sting is honey. Honey has natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that may hasten the healing process.
Simply rub a small amount of honey over the area and loosely cover it with a bandage. You may leave the honey for an hour or so. Just a friendly reminder, apply the honey when you are already indoors or else its scent may attract more bees.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar may aid in neutralizing the bee toxin that is left on the skin. You can directly submerge the affected area in a basin full of this vinegar or soak a bandage and apply over the sting site. Leave it treated for around 15 minutes.
This common ingredient in your kitchen is believed to be a good bee venom neutralizer. To use baking soda as a remedy for bee sting, mix a small amount with water until you form a paste-like consistency. Apply the paste on the sting site and cover it using a loose bandage. Leave it there for around 15 minutes.
Though baking soda is a widely known bee sting remedy, some experts contend about its use because it may be too alkaline and cause more irritation for the skin.
Toothpaste is a popular home remedy for bee stings and readily available too! Just rub a small amount of toothpaste over the site.
The exact mechanism on how it helps relieve bee sting symptoms is still uncertain, but it is believed that the alkalinity of toothpastes helps neutralize the acidity of bee toxin. If it’s the case, toothpaste may not be an effective home remedy for a wasp’s sting because this species releases an alkaline toxin.
Meat tenderizer contains a substance called papain, which may help dissolve the protein in bee venom. To use this remedy, simply mix one part of meat tenderizer to 4 parts water and apply it over the area. Leave the solution on the skin for around 30 minutes.
Herbal Remedies for Bee Stings
When seeking natural treatment for bee stings herbal remedies can also provide an array of plants and essential oils that you can use to reduce the symptoms. Here are some examples:
This herb has been proven to reduce swelling and a well-known remedy for many skin conditions. It has natural properties that can relieve inflammation and prevent bacterial infection.
You may directly apply a fresh aloe vera extract on the site of bee sting. If the plant isn’t available in your area, you can alternately find plenty of aloe vera gels online.
This herb is a prominent remedy for insect bites, including bee stings. It can help lessen the itchiness, swelling and pain in the affected area. Simply place witch hazel over the sting site as needed.
Many essential oils can help relieve the symptoms and can be great natural home remedies for bee stings. You may try any of these essential oils at home, but be reminded that some of these needs to be mixed with a carrier oil, like coconut or olive oil, before you can apply it on the sting site.
Lavender essential oil
It is known for its natural anti-inflammatory effects that can help reduce swelling brought about by bee stings. Another great thing about lavender oil is that it doesn’t need a carrier oil for application. Thus, you can immediately apply it over the sting site to provide a quick relief.
Tea tree oil
This essential oil has natural antiseptic effects and may be a natural pain reliever for bee stings. It may also help reduce the itchiness. To use tea tree oil for bee stings, you’ll need to mix one drop of it to 3 drops of carrier oil.
Tea tree oil may also be combined with witch hazel for a more potent remedy for bee stings.
Thyme oil also has antiseptic effects that may prevent further irritation and infection of the skin that is wounded by a bee sting.
This essential oil has natural antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine and analgesic effects, making it great in reducing the symptoms of bee stings. You may find its antihistamine effect handy as a first aid and bee sting allergic reaction home remedy while you wait for medical help, because it may help block histamine that produce the allergic symptoms.
Basil essential oil
This essential oil can combat itchiness, pain, and inflammation, making it a good natural remedy for bee stings. If you want to use it for bee stings, simply mix one drop of basil oil, one drop of peppermint oil and 2 drops of carrier oil, and apply it over the affected area.
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When to seek medical attention for a bee sting
If your child is allergic to bee stings or suffered multiple stings, it may be a reason to seek medical help. A child may be allergic to bee stings if the swelling spreads to other areas of his body. In this case, your child may experience anaphylactic shock, which is a life-threatening condition.
You may suspect anaphylactic shock if you see the following symptoms:
- Pale skin
- Extreme itching
- Difficulty breathing
- Throat and tongue swelling
- Fast pulse rate
- Nausea and vomiting
Bee stings produce swelling, pain, and itchiness that can be reduced when you quickly apply home remedies for bee stings. However, if your child is allergic to bee stings or shows signs of anaphylactic shock, it is best to seek medical help immediately to safeguard his health.
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always consult with a doctor or licensed medical professional before making any medical decisions.