It can happen fast. One minute the kids are all playing peacefully outside on a warm, spring day. The next minute a piercing scream reveals that one of them has been stung by a bee. To help alleviate the panic, dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology say it’s a good idea to know what to do – and not do – to treat a bee sting.
“The first thing to do is to get the stinger out quickly,” said board-certified dermatologist Carrie Kovarik, MD, FAAD, an associate professor of dermatology, dermatopathology and infectious diseases at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “The longer the stinger stays in the skin, the more venom it releases, adding to the person’s pain and swelling.”
To treat a sting from a bee, wasp or hornet, Dr. Kovarik recommends the following tips:
“Although most people do not experience severe reactions to bee stings, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on anyone who has been stung in case they develop more serious symptoms,” said Dr. Kovarik. “If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, or if you or someone you know has been stung multiple times – particularly if he or she is a child – seek medical attention immediately.”
These tips are demonstrated in “How to Treat a Bee Sting,” a video posted to the AAD website and YouTube channel. This video is part of the AAD’s “Video of the Month” series, which offers tips people can use to properly care for their skin, hair and nails. A new video in the series posts to the AAD website and YouTube channel each month.