The best bee sting remedies – 5 all-natural ways to quickly reduce the pain, redness and itchiness…
No one likes to get stung by a bee, but in those moments staying calm and knowing what to do can make a whole lot of difference.
If you or someone around you get stung, the most important thing you can do is look for the signs of allergic reaction. Bee sting doesn’t always end up in a dramatic reaction, but these situations happen relatively frequently. And it is very important to recognize them in time.
Especially look for symptoms like hives, swelling of the face, tongue and throat, difficulties breathing or swallowing, weak, rapid pulse, severe itching, dizziness, partial or complete loss of consciousness, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
If you notice any of these, go to the ER right away.
But, most of the time, all you’ll get from a bee sting is a swollen, red bump, painful and itching, but all in all harmless. Nothing you can’t treat with some soothing bee sting remedies at your own home.
If you’ve gotten stung, try as soon as possible to remove the stinger out of your skin. The longer the stinger stays in, the more venom it releases into the skin.
You can remove the stinger by scraping it with your fingernail, a credit card or a piece of gauze. Do not squeeze it with your fingers or tweezers, or you can squeeze out the rest of the venom straight into your skin.
Once the stinger is out, in most people, the swelling and itchiness should go away in a few hours.
Wash the area with a gentle soap and lukewarm water. Here’s what you can apply to relieve the pain, reduce swelling and help the skin heal faster:
5 Best Bee Sting Remedies
1. Ice pack
Every time you’re dealing with any sort of inflammation and swelling, icing the area is one of the things that can help the most. Ice eases the pain by numbing the affected area and reduces the swelling and discomfort.
You can use crushed ice or a bag of frozen vegetables. Wrap it in a cloth or a thin towel –applying ice directly to your skin can damage the skin. Keep the ice like that for around 20 minutes. If you’re stung in the leg or arm, keeping this part of your body elevated can also help.
You can apply ice packs to the inflamed area several times a day, until the swelling is all gone. But, each time, allow the skin to warm up for at least an hour before placing an ice pack on it again. Applying ice for too long can lead to frostbites and small damages to the tissue.
Toothpaste is one of the most popular bee sting remedies. Apparently, its alkaline nature reacts with the acids in bee’s venom. This helps to neutralize the venom faster, bringing you a relief from pain and discomfort.
Also, some ingredients in toothpaste, such as mint extract, have cooling and refreshing effect on the skin, which can help reduce the redness and itchiness.
Mix around a pea size of toothpaste with a little bit of water until it starts to foam. Apply a thin layer of the mixture to the bee sting and leave it on for 10 – 15 minutes. After that time, rinse off the toothpaste with cool water. You can do this several times a day.
3. Baking soda
Just like the toothpaste, baking soda is an alkaline product, which makes it a perfect bee sting remedy. It can help neutralize the venom and reduce the pain and inflammation. In fact, many over-the-counter creams and lotions meant to deal with stings and rashes contain baking soda.
You can also make your own baking soda treatment for bee stings. Just mix a teaspoon of baking soda with around 3 teaspoons of water. You should get a thick, smooth paste. Apply the mixture to the sting. Leave it on for around 15 minutes.
Then rinse off the baking soda with lukewarm water and apply something soothing (for example, aloe vera gel or some natural oil), to help with regenerating and healing the skin.
4. Essential oils
For centuries now, people have been using essential oils to treat painful, inflamed insect stings. Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts, so their healing and soothing properties are even more potent than if you’d use the actual plants.
The most often used oils for bee stings are: lavender, tea tree, thyme, rosemary and witch hazel. These oils have natural antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling and stinging.
But, you should never apply a pure essential oil to your skin. Always dilute it first with a carrier oil. As a carrier oil, you can use any natural oil you currently have on hand, such as olive, coconut, sweet almond, avocado oil, etc.
You will need around 5 drops of a carrier oil for each drop of essential oil. Just mix them well and apply directly to the sting with a cotton ball.
However, some essential oils can cause irritation or allergic reaction, so it is a good practice to always patch-test them first.
It may sound weird to try and soothe bee stings with something that bees themselves have made. However, there are many reasons why honey is one of the best natural bee sting remedies.
First, honey is a natural antiseptic. It will keep the area clean and reduce the possibility of an infection. Honey is also great at soothing redness, itching and inflammation. And it can help speed up the skin’s natural healing process.
All you have to do is apply a small amount of honey on and around the sting (clean the area first with a gentle cleanser and cool-to-lukewarm water). You don’t have to rinse off the honey, just leave it for your skin to soak in it until it absorbs it.
But wait until you get home to do this – you don’t want to attract any more bees with the scent of honey.