Bee Sting Treatment

Wilderness First Aid

Knowing how to treat a bee sting will eventually come in handy for those who spend any amount of time in the outdoors. There are many folklore ways and magic-wand type treatments, but only one proper way to treat bee sting.

How to Treat a Bee Sting

1)  Remove the stinger and/or venom sac as quickly as possible. Use tweezers, if available, or carefully scrape away with a clean fingernail. Do not use your mouth or teeth.

2)  Wash the area with a soap and cool water.

3)  Apply a cold compress, if available. If not, dip affected area in a cool stream for a while.

4)  Pat dry and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion. This will ease redness, itching and swelling.

5)  If itching and tenderness continue or seem to be getting worse, take an oral antihistamine that contains diphenhydramine such as Benadryl from your first aid kit.

6)  We know it’s itchy, but don’t scratch. That just makes the itching and swelling worse and increases your chances of an infection.

7)  NOTE: If you are severely allergic to bee stings, make sure your first aid kit includes an emergency epinephrine auto injector such as EpiPen or Twinject and that you know how to use it. Additionally, it may be a good idea to keep your EpiPen easy access (such as in the hood of your backpack) and don’t forget to check the expiration date.