Step 1: Remove the stinger. Usually when a bee stings you, the stinger stays stuck in your skin. Try to use a flat object, like a credit card, or just a fingernail, to scrape the stinger off of your skin, rather than squeezing it with tweezers or your fingers. The venom sac is often still attached to the stinger, so squeezing it will just squirt more of the painful venom into your skin.
Step 1a: If you notice any of the following symptoms after you have a bee sting, you are having a medical emergency and should immediately seek medical attention. People die from allergic reactions to bee stings.
- Trouble breathing
- Swelling in the face, mouth, or throat
- Feeling restless or anxious
- Blotchy red spots on your skin beyond where the sting was
- Wheezing or trouble swallowing
- Dizziness or a rapid drop in blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat
Step 2: If you have not had a medical emergency from the sting, wash the area where the bee sting was. Use soap and water.
Step 3: To reduce swelling, use something cold on the stung area. This can be a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel, an ice pack, or just a cold, wet towel. Be careful not to put ice directly on your skin for a long time, though, because you could injure your skin. If you do this right after getting stung, it might help you isolate the venom by constricting the blood vessels in the area.
Step 4: You can try to soothe the pain from the sting if you need to. There are many possible remedies. For example, calamine lotion can help. For some people, meat tenderizer, which can be purchased in a store, reduces the pain from the sting. Other people have tried putting toothpaste on the sting, with good results. Another possibility is to mix together some baking soda and water and apply that to the area that had the sting.