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Doctor insights on: What Does It Mean When Bee Stings

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Dr. Patricia Foster
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Bee Sting (Definition)

A bee sting is when you are stung by a bee. Not meant to sound sarcastic. The bee inserts a tiny stinger into your skin. This can release venom per say and can introduce bacteria into the skin which can cause an infection. Some people are highly allergic to bee stings and can develop serious and even deadly reactions. Not meant to scare you but this can be serious. Please ...Read more


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What does it mean if a bee stings you?

What does it mean if a bee stings you?

Variable: Most often a bee sting causes localized pain, swelling, itching ; redness of the site. Or there can be continued swelling with nausea or vomiting. A severe reaction can lead to difficulty breathing, swelling of mouth, tongue, lips or throat, hives, etc. ...Read more

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What does it mean if a patient has a history of allergic reactions to bee stings?

What does it mean if a patient has a history of allergic reactions to bee stings?

Worrisome issue: This can be something as minor as localized swelling, hives, or a frank anaphalaxis where the person is at risk of death. If major, that person should be carrying an epipen, self administered Epinephrine to use as initial treatment until they can get to a hospital for additional care. ...Read more

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If my skin blisters from a bee sting, does it mean i'm allergic to bee stings?

If my skin blisters from a bee sting, does it mean i'm allergic to bee stings?

No: Allergic reactions to bee stings are characterized by symptoms away from the site of the sting. If all of the reaction to a sting - blisters, swelling, redness - are all directly connected to the site of the sting, it's a large local reaction. If you get stung on the foot and get hives on your arms, or your throat swells or you start to wheeze - those are allergic reactions. See an allergist. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of bee stings?

What are the symptoms of bee stings?

Varies: Bee sting reactions can range from mild irritation at sting site to life threatening reactions to death. Any sting that causes more than local irritation needs thorough evaluation and treatment. Venom immunotherapy has been demonstrated to significantly reduce the risk of systemic reaction to future stings. ...Read more

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What remedies for bee stings can I try at home?

What remedies for bee stings can I try at home?

Warm compress: Unless you're allergic to beestings, or you've been stung many many times, this is basically just a minor annoyance. Apply some warm compresses, keep the area clean to prevent infections, and see your doctor if symptoms persist or worsen. ...Read more

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Is it normal for bee stings to cause these symptoms?

Bees/hornets/wasps: Normal sting symptoms may include pain, itching, swelling, redness & tenderness of the affected area. Milder allergic reactions: Swelling of > 4 inches (baseball), nausea, GI cramps, diarrhea. Severe allergic reactions may present with swelling of tongue, mouth, lips or throat; difficulty swallowing & breathing, wheezing, tightness of the chest, hives, generalized weakness, confusion & slurring of ...Read more

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How do you treat bee stings?

See Allergists: Bee sting reactions can be relatively benign to life ending. In general local reactions to sting require symptomatic treatment. Reactions that occur away from sting site like hives, wheezing, lip or tongue swelling require more aggressive treatment like immunotherapy. Rarely, bee sting reactions uncover another disease called mastocytosis. Proper tx requires seeing an allergist. ...Read more

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Can you recommend what to do about bee stings?

Can you recommend what to do about bee stings?

What to do: Remove stinger by scraping along edge of skin with a credit card. Clean with soap & warm water. Apply ice in 10 minute. Increments; alternating 10 on & 10 off. Tylenol, Aspirin or Motrin for pain or Benadryl for swelling. Make a paste of 2 parts baking soda & 1 part water & apply. Or you can apply a meat tenderizer poultice to the area. Throat, airway or tongue swelling – call 911. ...Read more

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What is the biology behind bee stings?

See below: Bee stings and other stings from the hymenoptera class usually cause only a "local reaction" with redness swelling and warmth and initial pain that fades. This is due to the vasoactive venom components in the sting. Occ, a llr (large local reaction) can occur where the area enlarges over 2-3 days and then resolves over 5-10 days. Rarely, a systemic reaction occurs, anaphylaxis, which can kill. ...Read more

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Stings (Definition)

Stings can come from different sources. Insect stings such as a honey bee is one of the most familiar. Sting by fish in water is another common experience many of ...Read more