For Most People, this uncommon event is just a small short-term nuisance with a sudden Sharp Pointy Pain, Some Swelling, redness, and tenderness on the bitten area that keeps them uncomfortable for a short 1 – 3 day period depending upon the severity of the venom and sting.
But, as this uncommon event can manifest in any home, we thought of sharing some useful info on what to do in case of a sting from a honey bee or other members of the same insect family.
How does the Bee venom Work?
The Bee venom consists of a Cocktail of Allergic and inflammatory chemicals mixed with water that when injected through skin causes an intense inflammatory reaction we experience. It is actually the bee’s defense mechanism against prays and predators but we somehow accidentally become injected with it when seen as a danger by the bees. The Main Chemical ingredients of the venom include a) ‘Melittin’ b) Histamine and c) Apamine and a few other ingredients.
Melittin is an allergen that causes intense severe Pain. It is the reason for the sudden ‘ouch’ that you feel. Histamine is an inflammatory agent that causes leakage of small capillaries and blood vessels at the sting site and causes redness and edema. Apamine is another agent that is mildly neurotoxic and affects the nerves at the side of the sting. A combination of these chemicals in the sting when injected causes all the unwanted effects of Pain, redness, swelling, Itch, and uneasiness at the side of the sting.
What to do in case of a Sting Bite?
Here are a few things you can try at home to get some immediate relief
- Remove the Stinger as soon as possible using some Sharp-edged item like a Credit card or a home Key. This can reduce further effects of the sting.
- Applying ice or some cold water to the sting site can prevent the spread of the venom into the Surrounding tissues as the blood vessels constrict in cold temperatures, preventing the spread of venom.
- Wound care: This can be done by cleaning and washing the wound site and applying some antiseptic Ointments.
- Applying some alkaline agents like Baking Soda, Soap Water, or a toothpaste can slightly help by neutralizing the acidic nature of the Bee sting venom. Although not very strongly effective, they can help a little. Also in case of a Wasp sting, which is mostly alkaline, this remedy may not be so effective.
- Anti-histaminics: Antihistamines are drugs that block the effects of inflammatory mediators like histamine etc. in the bee venom reducing effects like Itching, redness, and inflammation at the site. Some good antihistaminics include ‘Citrizine, Levocetirizine, loratadine, desloratadine (least sedative effect) or diphenhydramine (sedative also).
- Analgesics: Analgesics are both Painkillers as well as anti-inflammatory in nature. Analgesics like Acetaminophen, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or Diclofenac can be taken to reduce the effects of Pain and redness.
- Hydrocortisone or Clobetasol Ointments can be applied at the sting site to get relief from symptoms and reduce any inflammation.
- Some other home remedies include applying Aloe vera, Lavender Oil or witch hazel on the injection site. These natural herbal oils have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
These small Remedies can help overcome most cases of common bee venom bits at home or workplace.
But rarely if you get bitten at a vital organ e.g in the eye or genital region, it is advisable to take the Anti-histaminics and Analgesics described above ASAP and at the same time visit the nearest Physician or hospital asap to seek proper medical attention.
Also Some Very Rare People may be highly allergic to the Bee venom and may even develop an anaphylactic Shock Reaction to the venom that causes the whole body to respond in a Massive inflammatory reaction and go in a State of Shock. Symptoms may include shallow breathing, Redness all over the body and Loss of consciousness. If such a Response is detected than consider it a Medical Emergency and rush to the Nearest hospitals emergency department. If you are already a case of Enhanced Senstitivity to bee venom than your Doctor may have prescribed you to use Epinephrine or Adrenaline Shots in case of an Emergency. Keep them at hand if at risk of bites.
This was a brief Info on how you can take care of this uncommon yet nuissance causing event at home or workplace.
We hope this was informative and helpful.
***** Article Finished*****
Edited & Reviewed by:
Dr. Rohit Sharma
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