Dr. Dennis Perry at Meridian Primary Care, a partner of McLaren Greater Lansing, is treating patients with bee stings this week.
Signs of a bee sting include: instant, sharp, burning pain at the sting site; a red welt; a pale raised area where the stinger punctured the skin; itching, and swelling.
Remove the stinger as soon as you can by scraping it out with the edge of a credit card or a fingernail. Use tweezers, but avoid squeezing the venom sac, which can release more venom.
Wash the area with soap and water, apply a cold pack and hydrocortisone cream, and take an oral antihistamine.
Symptoms should improve in a few hours, but it can take days for symptoms to completely disappear.
Bee stings can be life-threatening. If you're having a serious reaction, including dizziness, trouble breathing, swelling of the throat, or hives, you should seek emergency medical attention.
Even if you haven’t been allergic to bee stings in the past, you can still be allergic to a new bee sting. Or, if’ you have only had a minor reaction to bee stings in the past, it’s possible to have a more serious allergic reaction the next time you are stung.