A bee sting, whether in your apartment or outdoors, can be very painful but usually doesn’t require medical attention.
A mild to moderate sting doesn’t typically require medical treatment unless the victim has an allergic reaction or a more serious reaction such as trouble breathing or swallowing.
Bee Sting vs Bee Bite
If you get a bee sting, it will look like a red and swollen bump. A bee bite looks like two small puncture marks.
A bee sting can cause an allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. A bee bite doesn’t cause this type of reaction in most people.
If you have an allergy to bees, wasps, or yellow jackets and are stung by one of these insects or if someone else is stung by one of these insects and the person has swallowed some of the venom from the stinger (been stung near the mouth or throat), seek medical attention right away.
What does a bee sting look like?
When you get stung by a bee, you’ll know it. The insect will inject venom into your skin through its barbed stinger.
The pain of the sting usually takes about 30 minutes to kick in and fades away after about an hour or so—the same amount of time a mosquito bite would take to go away.
Like other insect bites, bee stings can look pretty similar—red, swollen, and itchy. When you’re not allergic to bees (or wasps), the swelling will go down within 24 hours, and any itching should stop in a few days as well.
Otherwise, call your doctor if they don’t clear up on their own or get worse over time.
If you think that you’ve been stung by a bee or another type of flying insect or suspect an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately so that they can give you advice on how to best treat yourself until help arrives with antihistamines or epinephrine (if necessary).
What happens when a bee stings you?
When a bee stings you, it releases poison into your skin. The bee’s stinger is attached to a venom sac.
This means that when the bee dies, its stinger will remain in your skin and release toxins for up to 24 hours after death. However, this is only true for honeybees.
For most people, this isn’t much of an issue because the venom only affects insects—not humans.
However, some people are allergic to bees and experience severe reactions if they are stung multiple times by one or more bees (such as if they get attacked by a swarm). These reactions can be life-threatening in some cases.
How do you treat a bee sting if you’re not allergic?
If you’re not allergic to bee stings, the best way to treat them is to remove the stinger as soon as possible. If you were stung in the mouth or throat, seek medical attention immediately.
If you’re not having an allergic reaction and want to treat yourself, apply a cold compress or a topical treatment right away. Don’t scratch the area, as this could lead to infection and more pain.
Also, avoid creams or oils like salves and ointments because they can irritate your skin even more if it’s sensitive. Ice may be helpful if there’s swelling but don’t use ice directly on your skin.
Rather, cool it down first in a plastic bag filled with water before applying it directly onto your skin.
Finally don’t use local anesthetics unless advised by a doctor. Local anesthetics usually make things worse for non-allergic reactions because they numb tissue that needs healing!
If you aren’t sure about what you’re applying to your skin, seek the advice of a dermatologist first before making things worse.
How do you treat a bee sting if you are allergic?
If you have an allergy to bee stings, get emergency help immediately if you are stung by a bee. Call 998 or have someone else call for emergency help if you cannot reach the phone yourself.
A person with a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to a bee sting may need emergency treatment. Anaphylaxis usually happens within minutes of being stung by an insect and can cause death.
Seek medical attention immediately if any of these symptoms occur after being stung by a bee:
- Swelling of the tongue or throat that makes it hard to breathe
- Difficulty breathing, wheezing, or gasping for breath, especially when not lying down
- A weak and rapid pulse
- Dizziness, fainting, and loss of consciousness
- Nausea and vomiting
Bee stings can cause a variety of symptoms like rash, redness, swelling, and stinging pain. If the person who got stung is having respiratory difficulty, they need urgent medical attention.
Antihistamines may provide relief to allergy symptoms, and there are other methods as well that can prevent getting into trouble with bees.
Additionally, if there’s a pest infestation in your home, such as bees or termites, call a pest control company or cleaning services right away for your safety and to keep your home’s structure sound.