Bee stings are common, especially during summer when people are going outside for long periods of time. Bee sting could be so much uncomfortable, but it can be life-threatening such as anaphylaxis. Better bee sting anaphylaxis treatment should be done immediately after the sting.
Bee is commonly equipped with a stinger like in wasps and hornets. This stinger is an equip for self-defense. Bee stinger contains venom (a poisonous substance) that could inject human skin and transmit the venom during a sting.
Bee is an insect that can sting once only because its stinger stuck in the skin of its victim. For wasp, it can sting more than once during an attack.
However, bee can cause significant pain, irritation, and anaphylaxis.
Bee Sting Symptoms
People will show only mild symptoms of allergic reaction during or after a sting. The sensation of the sting will feel sharp pain or burning at the site of sting. Other symptoms might be itching, redness, and swelling.
Mild Allergic Reaction
At the first sting, you may develop a raised welt around the sting site. A tiny white mark may be visible in the middle of the welt. It is a bee stinger stuck in your skin. The pain after the sting may remain within several hours.
All of those mild local allergic reaction is a normal reaction toward bee sting. Unless you are allergic, the bee stings can be treated at home.
Moderate Allergic Reaction
Moderate allergic reaction, or we may call it as a large local reaction is a term used to describe more pronounced symptoms associated with a bee sting. If you have a large local reaction toward bee sting, it means that you are allergic with bee sting.
The symptoms of moderate allergic reaction are such as extreme redness and swelling around the site of the sting that increase for 2-3 days after. Other symptoms like nausea and vomit could also occur.
Most of the time, large local reaction subside for weeks after the sting. Knowing this large local reaction toward bee sting may direct you to take an over-the-counter medicine (Antihistamine) to reduce the swelling, redness, and discomfort.
If you have a large local reaction after bee sting one time, it does not mean that you will react to the bee sting in the same way. You could have one strong reaction and never show the same symptoms again in the future.
In moderate allergic reaction, your body may be in normal respond to bee stings. Try to avoid being stung to prevent these symptoms.
Bee Sting Anaphylaxis (Life-Threaten Allergic Reaction)
The most dangerous and severe allergic reaction to bee stings is anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis occurs when your body goes into shock. Its condition occurs very quickly because it can threaten life immediately. Emergency care should be looked for immediately to treat anaphylaxis and prevent mortality.
Symptoms of bee sting anaphylaxis are:
- Severe swelling of the face, lips, and / or throat
- Hives or itching around the body not affected by the bee sting.
- Breathing difficulties such as wheezing, gasping, or ronchi.
- Low blood pressure
- Consciousness changes
- Nausea and / or vomiting
- Abdominal cramp or pain
- Weak or racing pulse.
Based on Mayo Clinic in its website, people who have anaphylaxis shock are about 30 to 60 percent after the bee sting in the future. It means that those who have anaphylaxis history, you have to carry an anaphylaxis kits. “Bee sting kits” contain einephrine injection (Epipen anaphylaxis) that you can give yourself after a bee sting.
The function of epipen is to relax your muscle and blood vessels, helping your heart and respiration back to normal condition. It is really recommended for you because bee sting anaphylaxis requires immediate bee sting anaphylaxis treatment.
Bee Sting Anaphylaxis Treatment
Mild Bee Sting Anaphylaxis and Moderate Bee Sting Anaphylaxis Treatment
Basically, you can treat mild to moderate anaphylaxis reactions from bee sting at home. These are what you should do;
- Wash the sting site with soap and runny water to remove the venom remains in stinger or around the sting site.
- Apply cold pack to the sting wound. Its function is to reduce swelling and pain
- Keep the sting wound clean and dry to prevent infection and cover it with a bandage.
- Use hydro cortisone cream (anti inflammation cream) or calamine lotion if itching or skin irritation become bothersome.
- Baking soda and colloidal oatmeal are can be used to soothe the skin irritation. They can be combined with medicated skin creams.
- Uncomfortable pain can be reduced with an over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen.
- Antihistamine such as diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine maleat can reduce itching sensation. Taking this medicine is not recommended if you have to drive or doing activity that needs extra concentration or focus.
- Anti tetanus shot can be used as a precaution.
Severe Bee Sting Anaphylaxis Treatment
Severe bee sting anaphylaxis treatment require immediate medical attention. If you have Epipen anaphylaxis shoot, take it and administer it as soon as possible at the beginning of the symptoms. Then, if you have anaphylaxis history toward bee sting before, administer it as soon as you are stung.
Call 911 for emergency help immediately.
Bee sting anaphylaxis treatment can include additional treatment such as like;
- Additional epinephrine shoot to calm your immune system
- CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) if the breathing or pulse have temporarily stopped.
- Oxygen, steroids, or other treatments to improve breathing.