Bee sting

Skin | General Practice | Bee sting (Disease)


A bee sting is a sting from a honey bee, bumblebee, sweat bee or other. Usually, bee stings are just annoying and home treatment is all thats necessary to ease the pain of bee stings. However, allergies to bee stings or getting stung numerous times can cause a more serious reaction that requires emergency treatment.

Most of the time, signs and symptoms of a bee sting are minor and include: instant, sharp burning pain at the sting site; a red welt at the sting area; a small, white spot where the stinger punctured the skin; slight swelling around the sting area. In most people, swelling and pain go away within a few hours. Large local reactions have symptoms like: extreme redness and swelling at the site of the sting that gradually enlarges over the next day or two, but tend to resolve over five to 10 days.

Causes and Risk factors

A severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to bee stings is potentially life-threatening and requires emergency treatment. Signs and symptoms of a toxic reaction include: nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, headache, vertigo, feeling faint or fainting, convulsions and fever.

Diagnosis and Treatment

For most bee stings, home treatment is enough. Multiple stings or an allergic reaction, on the other hand, can be a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. When a bee stings, it jabs a barbed stinger into the skin. Removing the stinger and its attached venom sac right away will keep more venom from being released. Wash the sting area with soap and water. Apply cold compresses to relieve pain and ease swelling. During an anaphylactic attack medical help is necessary. ...