Although you cannot completely wipe out the chance of being stung by a wasp, there are things you can do to reduce the risk. The hot temperatures that Brits have recently experienced means plagues of wasps have been infesting people's homes. Pest control experts Rentokil have seen a per cent year-on-year increase in call-outs from people who have found nests on their property. If you find a wasps' nest in your home, it is advised that you let professional pest control experts come and remove it. According to pest control experts Rentokil, there are several simple steps you can take to keep wasps at bay.
Sign in. The natural antibacterial agents in honey may also help prevent infection and speed healing. For these reasons, some medical professionals use honey extracts in wound dressings. Try spreading a small amount of honey onto the sting.
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Do this indoors, so the smell of the honey does not attract more bees. Some people believe that baking soda neutralizes bee venom. However, no high-quality research suggests that baking soda can help relieve discomfort from a bee sting. Baking soda can also damage the skin because it is very alkaline, so medical professionals tend not to recommend this remedy.
However, clinical research has yet to show that apple cider vinegar has many of its purported health benefits. One unconventional home remedy involves spreading alkaline toothpaste on the site of the sting to neutralize the venom. To try it, spread a small amount of toothpaste onto the sting site, but proceed with caution.
The skin may react to the toothpaste, especially if it is left on for longer periods. People can usually manage their bee sting symptoms using over-the-counter creams and oral medications, including:. Epinephrine is a chemical that narrows blood vessels and opens airways in the lungs. This signals the body to pump more blood and relax the muscles to regulate breathing and blood pressure.
If a person has an allergic reaction to a bee sting, they may develop anaphylaxis. A person who has any of the following symptoms after a bee sting should receive emergency medical attention:.
Honey bees are the only stinging insects that leave their stingers behind. Others stinging insects, such as yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets, can sting multiple times. Each sting contains venom. Ice, other home remedies, and over-the-counter medications are usually able to relieve discomfort.
Some alternative home remedies include honey, aloe vera, and calamine lotion. Still, it is important to be able to identify signs of a severe allergic reaction. If hives, lightheadedness, or trouble breathing follow a bee sting, a person should receive emergency medical care. Article last reviewed by Wed 29 August Visit our Bites and Stings category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Bites and Stings.
All references are available in the References tab. Balit, C. Randomized controlled trial of topical aspirin in the treatment of bee and wasp stings [Abstract]. Journal of Toxicology: Clinical Toxicology , 41 6 , — Bee stings: Is it an allergic reaction?
A bee stung me! How to treat a bee sting.
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Insects and scorpions. Irritant and allergic reactions to essential oils. Mandal, M. Honey: Its medicinal property and antibacterial activity. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine , 1 2 , — Rahmani, A.
Removing the Sting
Aloe vera: Potential candidate in health management via modulation of biological activities. Pharmacognosy Review , 9 18 , — Zairi, A. Trabelsi, M. Antioxidant, antimicrobial and the phenolic content of infusion, decoction and methanolic extracts of Thyme and Rosmarinus species [Abstract]. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology.
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MLA Fletcher, Jenna. MediLexicon, Intl. Multiple stings or an allergic reaction, on the other hand, can be a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.
During an anaphylactic attack, an emergency medical team may perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR if you stop breathing or your heart stops beating. You may be given medications including:.
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If you're allergic to bee stings, your doctor is likely to prescribe an emergency epinephrine autoinjector EpiPen, Auvi-Q, others. You'll need to have it with you at all times. An autoinjector is a combined syringe and concealed needle that injects a single dose of medication when pressed against your thigh. Always be sure to replace epinephrine by its expiration date. Be sure you know how to use the autoinjector. Also, make sure the people closest to you know how to administer the drug — if they're with you in an anaphylactic emergency, they could save your life.
Medical personnel called in to respond to a severe anaphylactic reaction also may give you an epinephrine injection or another medication. Bee and other insect stings are a common cause of anaphylaxis. If you've had a serious reaction to a bee sting or multiple stings, your doctor likely will refer you to an allergist for allergy testing and consideration of allergy shots immunotherapy. These shots, generally given regularly for a few years, can reduce or eliminate your allergic response to bee venom.
The following steps may help ease the swelling and itching often associated with large local reactions:. If you've had a serious reaction to a bee sting but did not seek emergency treatment, consult your doctor. He or she may refer you to an allergy specialist allergist who can determine whether you're allergic to bee or other insect venom and can help you find ways to prevent future allergic reactions.
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