Steps

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    If the bee that stung you was a honeybee, (if it is a wasp then you can't) remove the stinger as soon as possible. The best method of removal is to scrape it out. DO NOT pinch the stinger as you could be squeezing more venom out of the venom sac located at the end of the stinger. But, even slight delays in removal caused by concerns over performing it correctly (or getting out a knife blade or credit card) are likely to increase the dose of venom received.[1]
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    Look for symptoms of an allergic reaction:[2]
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Hives that appear as a red, itchy rash and spread to areas beyond the sting
    • Swelling of the face, throat or mouth tissue
    • Wheezing or difficulty swallowing
    • Restlessness and anxiety
    • Rapid pulse
    • Dizziness or a sharp drop in blood pressure
    • If the symptoms are present, seek immediate emergency medical attention. Take an antihistamine as soon as possible and be ready to use the epinephrine part of an emergency allergy kit, if it has been prescribed in the past.[3] See How to Use an Epipen.
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    Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief if no symptoms of allergic reactions are present.[3]
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    Apply dampened baking soda to bee sting area, and relief is sure to come. You may run in under cold water for relief instead, if no baking soda is present.
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    Apply one of the following remedies (ordered from most effective to least effective).[4]

Method 1
Home Remedy 1: Ice

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    Apply ice wrapped in fabric to the bee sting for 20 minutes.
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    The symptoms should disappear almost immediately, and stop bothering you for about 5 hours before you need to reapply. The coldness constricts blood vessels (which slows the flow of venom-tainted blood) and numbs the pain and itching. And ice is practically free![4]

Method 2
Home Remedy 2: Toothpaste

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    Apply toothpaste on the bee sting. The tingling action will make you feel like you're scratching the itch, which is relieving.[4]
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    Wait 100 minutes for the symptoms to be alleviated.
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    Reapply in 5 hours.

Method 3
Home Remedy 3: Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Meat Tenderizer

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    Mix vinegar, baking soda, and meat tenderizer into a paste.
    • Meat tenderizer contains an enzyme called papain that can break down toxins in bee venom.
    • This mixture will make you smell like an antipasto sampler.
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    Apply it to the bee sting. It will fizz.
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    Wait 20 minutes for the symptoms to subside; they should disappear about an hour after application.[4]
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    Reapply after several hours.

Method 4
Home Remedy 4: Calamine Lotion with Analgesic

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    Apply a calamine lotion with analgesic (e.g. Caladryl). You'll start feeling a soothing tingle.
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    Wait 45 minutes for the symptoms to be relieved.
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    Reapply 4 hours later. The symptoms will return suddenly, unlike with other remedies.[4]

Method 5
Home Remedy 5: Hydrocortisone Cream

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    Apply maximum strength hydrocortisone cream on the sting site. It'll dry visibly white.
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    Expect the symptoms to be slightly relieved.[4]
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    Reapply after four hours, when the symptom return full-force.

Method 6
Home Remedy 6: Honey

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    Apply honey to the sting.
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    Expect the cool and soothing sensation to alleviate the symptoms slightly for 30 minutes.[4]

Method 7
Home Remedy 7: Antihistamines

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    Apply an antihistamine cream to the bee sting. Most creams are odorless and dry invisibly, which can be beneficial depending on your situation.
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    Expect the symptoms to be relieved slightly for about 30 minutes to an hour.[4]

Method 8
Home Remedy 8: Benzocaine Sticks

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    Rub the stick against the bee sting. The Benzocaine deadens nerve endings, and the sticks are convenient to carry, although the relief is fleeting.
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    Expect slight relief for 15 minutes.[4]

Method 9
Home Remedy 9: Deodorant

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    Apply a deodorant (such as Ban Roll-On) on the site.
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    Expect for the symptoms to be displaced, rather than relieved. The area immediately surrounding the sting will be soothed, but the area surrounding that might get worse.[4]

Method 10
Home Remedy 10: Raw Onion

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    Hold a slice of raw onion on your sting at your own risk.
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    Prepare for the possibility that the symptoms will get worse, and you'll smell. Prepare also for the possibility, that the onion's juice will pull out some of the venom and the sting won't get as bad, especially if done right after the event. [4] You might need these articles:

Method 11
Home Remedy 11: Raw Potato

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    Peel open a raw potato or cut it in half.
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    Put the potato on the bee sting.
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    This will provide a temporary soothing and can cause the sting to heal more quickly.

Tips

  • Dry tobacco and spit worked up into a gooey glob make a proper poultice for treating stings. (Kentucky-fried wisdom)
  • Recent studies on bee stings has shown that the speed of removal, by any method, is more important in limiting the amount of poison received after a sting.[5]
  • Mix baking soda with water; apply paste and let dry. This pulls out venom if applied immediately and works quickly to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
  • If it is a wasp or bee sting, you can mix mud and water together and apply it to the sting.
  • Do not itch it even if it does get itchy. It will just make it worse.

Warnings

  • You may become allergic to stings even if you have not had reactions to stings in the past. Previous stings without incident does not mean you will never have an anaphylactic reaction. Typically once you have a reaction you will continue to be allergic. Your reaction may also depend on the type of bee that stings you. Some are allergic to wasps but not honey bees.
  • Consult your physician if you are noticing more severe symptoms to stings. Your physician may want to prescribe an Epinephrine pen for you to carry with you in the event you are stung again. The Epi-Pens are preloaded shots with medication to treat anaphylaxis.

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