Treatment of Bee and Wasp Stings

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Here are the steps you need to take after someone who is allergic has been stung:

  • Remove any stingers immediately. Some experts recommend scraping out the stinger with a credit card.
  • Applying ice to the site may provide some mild relief. Apply ice for 20 minutes once every hour as needed. Wrap the ice in a towel or keep a cloth between the ice and skin to keep from freezing the skin.
  • Taking an antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or a nonsedating one such as loratadine (Claritin) will help with itching.
  • Take ibuprofen (Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain relief as needed.
  • Wash the sting site with soap and water and place an antibiotic ointment on the site.
  • If it’s been more than 10 years since your last tetanus booster, get a booster within the next few days.
  • Most insect stings require no additional medical care.

If you know you may be allergic, especially if you’ve had a severe reaction in the past when stung by a bee or wasp, seek immediate medical help. Take an antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or a nonsedating one such as loratadine (Claritin) as soon as possible. If you have ben prescribed epinephrine (EpiPen) for an allergic reaction, use it as directed.

Medical Treatment for Bee and Wasp Stings

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