Being stung by a bee or a wasp is a very discomforting experience and could lead to pain, swelling, irritation, and infection of the affected area.
Symptoms of a bee or wasp sting include; a red welt with a white spot at the center, a burning pain, and swelling of the affected area. However, these symptoms tend to dissipate after a few days.
If you are allergic to bee or wasp sting, the sting’s venom could trigger an adverse immune system reaction. In such a case, you would need to seek medical attentiion immediately.
Here are tips and good practices, to consider, when dealing with bees or wasps;
- When you see bees or wasps flying around, stay calm and slowly walk away while covering your nose and mouth.
- Avoid scratching the stungarea as this may result in an infection.
- If you are stung in your limbs, i.e. your leg or arm, elevate it to reduce the severity of the symptoms.
- Wear protective clothing if you work or reside around bee or wasp nests.
- Try as much as possible not to bother the insects in their nests.
- Be cautious when you eat outside because food attracts bees and wasps. Also, endeavor to cover trashcans.
- You could call professionals to remove bee or wasp nests that are close to your abode.
Here are various ways to naturally treat bee or wasp stings;
1. Get Rid Of The Stinger
As soon as you get a bee sting, it is important to find where the embedded stinger is and remove it from your skin. Take a pair of tweezers and gently remove the stinger as soon as possible. If a stinger is not available, you may use your fingernails to scrape the area. Now wash it with a soap and water. Apply an antiseptic or calamine lotion to soothe the area. Never pinch the stinger as it will irritate your skin by leaving more venom.
2. Ice Compress
An ice compress will not only relieve pain and swelling but will also reduce the spread of venom in your skin. The numbing action of ice is much needed to reduce the pain of a bee or wasp sting. Take some ice cube and wrap it in a thin towel or a washcloth. Apply the compress to the area affected by the sting for 12-15 minutes. Repeat as needed to get rid of the pain and swelling.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar reduces itching and pain by neutralizing the acids present in the venom. You may also use white vinegar if apple cider vinegar is not readily available. Simply soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and place it on the affected area for 7-10 minutes. Reapply whenever you feel the discomfort.
4. Baking Soda
Being alkaline in nature, baking soda would help in neutralizing the acids present in the venom and relieves pain and swelling in a fast way. Make a thick paste by mixing baking soda powder with water and apply it on the affected site for about 7-10 minutes. Then, wash it off, thoroughly, with warm water and pat dry. Do this remedy every few hours to completely relieve pain and swelling.
Honey would help in soothing a bee or a wasp sting in an incredible way. It not only dilutes the substances present in the venom but also prevents an infection caused by a sting. Apply a little raw honey directly on the welt and allow it to dry. Then, wash off with warm water. Reapply several times during the day as needed.
The anti-inflammatory nature of peppermint helps in soothing a bee sting. Peppermint also aids in reducing pain and swelling in an effective way. For this remedy, take a little peppermint oil and apply it topically on the skin affected by the sting. People with sensitive skin must dilute the peppermint oil with some coconut oil or olive oil before applying it directly on their skin. You may also extract the juice of fresh peppermint leaves by crushing into a paste, with water, and applying it to the affected area. Allow it to dry, then, wash off with water.
7. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is readily available in most households and can be used to relieve a bee sting. It contains sulfate and magnesium which reduces inflammation. The best part is Epsom salt may help you draw the stinger out from your skin. Combine Epsom salt and little water to make a paste. Spread it evenly on the affected skin.
8. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel has astringent properties which makes it an excellent remedy for a bee or wasp sting. It can soothe an irritated and itchy skin. Its anti-inflammatory action reduces swelling and redness in a great way. For this remedy, apply a little amount of witch hazel on the welt and let it dry completely. It will work best when you use a refrigerated witch hazel. Reapply after every few hours until the pain and itching subside.
9. Marshmallow Leaves
The mucilage present in the leaves of marshmallow is a great remedy for reducing swelling and pain from the skin. Marshmallow leaves soothe the skin and cool it to reduce irritation. Take a few marshmallow leaves and grind it to form a paste. Apply it to the affected area and let it dry on its own. Rinse off thoroughly with water.
Limewater or choona can be effectively used to treat bee stings. It helps in neutralizing the acids present in the venom due to its high alkalinity. It also prevents the spread of the infection in a great way. All you have to do is apply limewater in the area of sting and rub it gently for 2 minutes. Let it dry completely. Then, wash off with water. Reapply it after every few hours
11. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has a soothing action on the skin. Its anti-inflammatory effect helps in reducing swelling, redness, and pain from the area. Aloe vera also helps in controlling itching caused by a bee sting. For this remedy, wash and clean an aloe vera leaf and extract a little gel by slitting it with a knife. Spread the gel evenly on the affected area and let it dry on its own. Repeat this remedy 3 times in a day.
Parsley contains a compound called eugenol which is anti-inflammatory in nature. Therefore, eugenol provides a great relief from swelling and redness. All you need is some fresh parsley leaves which you may crush to make a paste. Apply this paste to the stung area and cover it with a bandage. Let it stay for some time on your skin. Do this 3-4 times every day until the problem subsides.
Turmeric is an effective remedy for a bee sting and it has been used since ancient times for insect stings. Curcumin, in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that not only help in dealing with the swelling but also prevents the risk of an infection associated with a bee sting. For this remedy, take some powdered turmeric in a bowl and add a little water to make a paste. You may also add a little ghee or clarified butter to make it more effective. Apply it on the affected area. Then, wash off when it dries completely.
Ripe papaya contains papain, an active enzyme, that is helpful in relieving irritation and pain caused by a bee sting. Papaya has an antiseptic effect on the skin which makes it an excellent remedy for stings. Take a few pieces of a ripe papaya and mash it in a bowl. Then, spread the papaya paste evenly over the affected area. You may also used grated papaya or apply its juice to the affected area.
15. White Toothpaste
If you have a white toothpaste at home, you may use it to relieve a bee sting. It will neutralize the venom acids and provide a great relief from the discomfort associated with the sting. Take a little white toothpaste on your fingertip and apply it to the area affected by the bee sting. Then, wipe it off after a few hours. Reapply as needed.
If you are outdoors and you can’t find anything to soothe a bee sting, you may use mud to relieve the pain. It will not only cool down the area fast but the drying mud will effectively help in drawing out the venom in a natural way. Simply take some damp mud and spread it on the area of the skin stung by a bee or a wasp.
Plaintain is abundantly found outdoors and can be quickly used to relieve a bee sting. The broad leaves of plantain contain a high amount of tannin which promotes a faster healing of wounds. Take a plantain leaf and clean it thoroughly. Now chew it to make a paste. Avoid swallowing it. Take the paste and apply it to the affected area. The saliva that gets mixed with the plantain leaf paste acts as an antibacterial agent and prevent bacterial infection.
Basil helps in reducing swelling and discomfort caused by a bee sting in a natural way. Basil’s anti-inflammatory action on the skin provides a relief from the sting. For this remedy, take a handful of these beneficial leaves and crush them to make a paste. Now add 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric powder to it and mix well. Apply it to the stung area. Reapply after every few hours.
Aspirin is another home remedy for bee and wasp stings that works. Aspirin has an anti-inflammatory action which reduces swelling in a fast way. It also neutralizes the substances present in venom to make it less effective, thereby, treating any symptom in an excellent way. All you need is some aspirin tablets. Just crush them and mix with water to make a paste. Then, apply the paste to the skin and let it stay for a few minutes. Then, wash it off with warm water and pat dry.
20. Rhubarb Juice
Rhubarb is as effective as any other remedy to get rid of a bee sting. All you have to do is find a fresh rhubarb stalk and extract its juice. Then, apply it directly to the affected area to relieve pain, inflammation, and itching. Repeat the remedy after a few hours if necessary. Note that this remedy can stain your skin temporarily.
21. Fennel Seeds
Fennels seeds can be mixed with rock salt to provide relief from a bee or wasp sting. Fennels seeds are a great anti-inflammatory agent whereas the high selenium and magnesium present in rock salt can relieve pain in an effective way. Mix equal parts of crushed fennel seeds and powdered rock salt in a bowl. Then, add some water to make a paste. Apply it to the affected area and allow it to dry out completely. Wash thoroughly with water and reapply 3-4 times throughout the day.
Tobacco can be harmful to your health but is an incredible remedy for bee or wasp sting. Tobacco is alkaline in nature and would help in neutralizing the acids present in the venom of a bee, thereby, reducing its effect on the skin. For this remedy, you need some tobacco, which you may get from a cigarette. Add some water to the tobacco and mash it. Take the juice and apply it to the affected area and cover it with a bandage. Then, remove it after 15 minutes.
23. Hand Sanitizer
If you have a hand sanitizer handy, you can easily use it to calm a bee sting. Hand sanitizer helps in neutralizing the venom and relieves pain and irritation. A cooling effect is something that is needed when a bee attacks you and a sanitizer is able to give such relief. Simply dab some hand sanitizer over the welt and reapply as needed.
The high medicinal value of calendula makes it an important ingredient to relieve many health and skin issues. Calendula can be used to treat bee stings too. Take half a cup of calendula flowers (dried) and warm it with a cup of olive oil in a double boiler. Cool and strain the oil. Now add chopped beeswax to it to make a salve and melt it in a double boiler. Remove from heat and add a little lavender oil. Mix well and allow it to cool. You can store this calendula mixture in a jar and use it whenever you get a bee sting.
25. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is not only a delicious spread for your toast but for bee sting welts too. It can calm your skin and relieve irritation in an effective way. Simply dab a little of it on the affected area and reapply as needed.
A deodorant spray can relieve your skin temporarily until you find some other remedy that provides a better relief from the sting. All you have to do is pick a basic deodorant and spray it lightly on the affected area.
27. Homemade Balm
If you have too many bees in your area, you may want to prepare a balm and keep it handy so that you can use it whenever you need to treat a bee sting. All you need is warm a tablespoon of coconut oil with 3 teaspoons of beeswax. Then, add a little lavender essential oil and a teaspoon of honey. Mix all the ingredients well and transfer it to a tin. Cover it tightly with a lid. Once cool, you may use this balm to effectively treat bee or wasp stings.
28. St John’s Wort
St. John’s wort is extensively used in traditional medicine to treat bug bites, bruises, and muscle pain. It can also help you to get rid of a pain and irritation caused by a bee or wasp sting. Make sure you do not apply it directly on your skin. The best way to use it is to mix it with bentonite clay and apply it on the stung area. Let it dry completely before washing it. Bentonite clay has a unique property of absorbing harmful substances and toxins from the skin which is extremely helpful in removing the venom that enters the skin through the stinger.
Mustard has an anti-inflammatory action on the skin due to the presence of high levels of selenium. Mustard can reduce pain and inflammation effectively. It is also high in antioxidants that promote healing in a faster way. Make a thick paste by mixing powdered mustard with water. Spread it over the area stung by a bee or a wasp. Now wrap it with a cloth so that the poultice remains on your skin for longer. For an instant relief, you may also sprinkle the mustard powder over the bee sting.
30. Tea Bags
Tea is another effective remedy for bee or wasp stings. It helps in reducing inflammation around the affected area due to its powerful anti-inflammatory action. Furthermore, the high levels of antioxidants present in tea help in healing the welt fast. For this remedy, simply put a damp tea bag on the affected area and remove it after a few minutes.
Bleach may instantly reduce the irritation caused by a bee sting. It works by neutralizing the substances present in the sting’s venom to provide a quick relief. Due to this, it is often used to treat scorpion attacks. Simply dab some bleach on your skin for a few minutes and the pain will be gone. Wash the area thoroughly with water.
32. Garlic And Coconut Oil
Garlic is anti-inflammatory in nature, which makes it another helpful remedy for bee stings. It also prevents infections associated with stings due to its antibacterial properties. For this remedy, take a teaspoon of coconut oil and warm it. Then, add 1-2 crushed garlic cloves to it. Remove from flame and let it cool. Apply it to the area affected by a bee or wasp sting. Let your skin absorb the oil and wipe out any excess oil with a clean cloth. Do this remedy at least 3-4 times in a day.
Onions ease bee stings in an incredible way. The active ingredients present in it helps in drawing out the toxins from the skin thereby relieving the pain, swelling, and redness in a simple and easy way. For this remedy, take a small onion and cut it into two halves. Place it over the affected area so that the juice coming from the onions covers the welt. Let it stay for an hour. Reapply as needed.
34. Lavender Oil
Lavender is widely used in various remedies for its soothing and relaxing action on the body and the skin. It can be effectively used to calm a bee sting too. Take half a cup of dried lavender flowers and add it to a cup of a carrier oil. You may use olive oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil or sunflower oil as the carrier oil of choice. Then, heat the oil mixture and simmer it for 3 hours. Now remove from heat and allow it to cool. Strain it and store it in a jar. Apply a little amount of it whenever you are stung by a bee or a wasp.
Although it is not as effective as other remedies for calming a bee sting, ammonia can surely provide some relief if nothing else is available or before you prepare other remedies. Just dab a little ammonia on the welt for a temporary relief from inflammation and pain.
36. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal has an ability to absorb impurities from the skin. Therefore, it may help in drawing out harmful substances present in the venom out of the skin. It also aids in preventing an infection in a natural way. For this remedy, combine activated charcoal and water to make a thick paste. Then, spread the paste on the area of the skin affected with a bee sting. Now wrap a bandage to hold the poultice for 15 minutes before removing it. If you are still feeling the discomfort, prepare a fresh poultice, again, and apply it to the affected part. Do it until the irritation stops.
Potatoes are readily available and can be used to treat a bee sting. Being anti-inflammatory in nature, it helps in reducing swelling and pain. Simply cut a potato into slices. Take one slice and rub it against your skin on the affected area.
38. Preparation H
If you have Preparation H handy, you may use it to calm a burning bee sting. Preparation H relieves pain, itching, and discomfort in an incredible way. For this remedy, take a little of Preparation H on your fingertip and apply it gently over the welt.
39. Colloidal Oatmeal
Oatmeal has a soothing action on the skin. It eases itching, burning, and irritation of the skin naturally. Apply oatmeal to the affected area or simply soak yourself in an oatmeal bath for a few minutes.
Cucumber has astringent properties that help in cooling down an irritated skin. All you have to do is extract some juice of a cucumber and apply it on the bee sting with the help of a cotton ball. You may also rub a slice of freshly cut cucumber on the affected area for an instant relief. Hold it against your skin for a few minutes to ease out the pain.
41. Soap And Rubbing Alcohol
Soap and rubbing alcohol may calm a painful bee a wasp sting in a fast and easy way. All you have to do is mix soap, water and rubbing alcohol together and apply it on the welt. The alkaline nature of soap will neutralize the venom acids and provide relief. Make sure you use a moisturizing soap.
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