In Lansing, Dr. Thomas Stout at Mount Hope Community Medical Center is treating a lot of bee stings.
Common symptoms include: instant, sharp burning at the sting site; a red welt at the sting area; a pale raised area where the stinger punctured the skin; itching around the edges of the sting; and swelling.
Symptoms generally improve after a few hours, but it can take days for them to disappear.
You should remove the stinger as soon as possible by scraping it out with the edge of a credit card, or a fingernail. You can use tweezers, but avoid squeezing the venom sac, which can release more venom.
Wash the area with soap and water, apply a cold pack to the sting area, apply hydro cortisone cream and take an oral antihistamine. Don't scratch the area.
Seek medical attention immediately if you're having a serious reaction to a bee sting that includes dizziness, lightheadedness, loss of consciousness, trouble breathing, swelling of the throat, and hives.
Dr. Stout attributes the increase in bee stings to people spring cleaning in their yards and discovering nests.
Make an appointment to see your doctor if bee sting symptoms don't go away within a few days, or if you've had other symptoms of an allergic response following a bee sting.