First aid after a bee sting is essential in order to relieve pain, redness and swelling. These symptoms are actually an allergic reaction to toxins that enter the body through stinging.
If treatment is administered correctly and on time, many of the complications may be counteracted, and the results of allergy, which in some cases may be extremely severe, can be stopped in time.
If the patient has been stung for the first time and doesn’t show symptoms of allergic reaction, the treatment includes cleaning the area, local disinfection and application of an antibiotic ointment. An oral antihistamine such as diphenhydramine may be given to relieve pruritus. For analgesic treatment, ibuprofen, acetaminophen or both may be used, depending on the intensity of the pain. The patient may also be pre-vaccinated for tetanus.
What is anaphylactic shock?
In rare cases, an extreme allergic reaction such as anaphylactic shock may occur. Anaphylactic shock is a severe reaction of the body to a large number of allergens that occurs in people with hypersensitivity to insect bites, affects many organs and may even be life threatening. Symptoms are itching, burns, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, lethargy, increased pulse and pale cold and sweaty skin.
The symptoms evolve quickly and severely within about an hour of stinging, leading to anaphylactic shock, so it is important, or even vital, to call an ambulance or go to an emergency clinic.
How to avoid bee or wasp stings
- The behavior of bees and wasps may be unpredictable during the summer, especially on very hot days, when they are thirsty and more aggressive.
- It’s important to avoid approaching their nest or areas that attract them, such as trash cans and ice cream or cotton candy stands.
- Never disturb a bee or wasp nest; if challenged, these insects are particularly dangerous.
- Don’t use perfume in excess, as the scent could attract insects, and wear clothing with long sleeves.