Bee Stings

Monday, June 18, 2012

For most people, bee stings are merely painful reminders that summer has its downsides, but for those who are allergic, stings can be deadly. Dr. Edward Hill discusses what to do if you or a loved one gets stung in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets are an inevitable part of summer. Usually, their stings cause minor reactions like swelling, redness, pain and itching. These can be treated at home without a visit to the doctor. If you get stung, remain as calm as possible to decrease the spread of venom in your blood stream.

If the stinger is still in the skin, gently scrape it out with a credit card or a dull knife. Wash the area with soap and water two or three times a day until the skin is healed. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel. You can take Tylenol for pain and antihistamines to help the swelling and itching. Hydrocortisone cream may help with redness and itching.

If you develop signs of a skin infection, like red streaks or increased pain and swelling, or if you get flu like symptoms like fever and muscle aches, consult your physician. Some people have severe allergic reactions to bee stings and require emergency care and desensitization.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.