8 doctors weighed in:
My bee sting from a honey bee is itchy and swollen. Should I go to the er?
8 doctors weighed in

Dr. Steven Machtinger
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
3 doctors agree
In brief: No.
If you are having only local itching, and no difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness you are having a common localized reaction to a bee sting.
You may get relief by a cold compress, a mild analgesic like Ibuprofen & an antihistamine like fexofenadine or cetirizine. Some physicians recommend applying Hydrocortisone cream. If on an arm or leg elevating the extremity reduces swelling.

In brief: No.
If you are having only local itching, and no difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness you are having a common localized reaction to a bee sting.
You may get relief by a cold compress, a mild analgesic like Ibuprofen & an antihistamine like fexofenadine or cetirizine. Some physicians recommend applying Hydrocortisone cream. If on an arm or leg elevating the extremity reduces swelling.
Dr. Steven Machtinger
Dr. Steven Machtinger
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Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Depends on degree of
Reaction. 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 ;.

In brief: Depends on degree of
Reaction. 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 ;.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Dr. Heidi Fowler
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1 comment
Dr. Heidi Fowler
& slurring of speech. Anaphylactic reaction can be fatal. If you have an allergic reaction seek medical intervention ( emergent for severe allergic rxn).
Dr. Brian Novick
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Depends
Have you ever had an allergic reaction to a bee in past? Where were you stung?If on leg or arm & the itching & swelling are just in the same area as sting.
.Wash with soap & water/alcohol then use ice&take antihistamine benadryl/allegra/zyrtec(depends on your age..Check bottle) but if you were stung on your face or throat & have swelling elsewhere or other symptoms go to er or at least call them.

In brief: Depends
Have you ever had an allergic reaction to a bee in past? Where were you stung?If on leg or arm & the itching & swelling are just in the same area as sting.
.Wash with soap & water/alcohol then use ice&take antihistamine benadryl/allegra/zyrtec(depends on your age..Check bottle) but if you were stung on your face or throat & have swelling elsewhere or other symptoms go to er or at least call them.
Dr. Brian Novick
Dr. Brian Novick
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Dr. Robert Ramirez
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
In brief: No
For the reasons stated by dr machtinger. Keep in mind that even if testing confirms that you are allergic to honeybee stings, you may not benefit from immunotherapy.
It would not significantly reduce your chances of having a future systemic allergic reaction, based on the local reaction you just had.

In brief: No
For the reasons stated by dr machtinger. Keep in mind that even if testing confirms that you are allergic to honeybee stings, you may not benefit from immunotherapy.
It would not significantly reduce your chances of having a future systemic allergic reaction, based on the local reaction you just had.
Dr. Robert Ramirez
Dr. Robert Ramirez
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