There are a lot of insects that bite or sting. Bees, wasps, mosquitoes, ants, spiders, mites, and a thousand other little bugs are out there waiting for you to accidentally wander their way.
Bug bites and stings are more than a little annoying. They hurt and some can be quite hazardous to your health so it is wise to be aware and be prepared. There are a wide variety of insects out there and the odds are that you are going to encounter more than a few during the warm summer months. Fortunately there are things that you can do when you suddenly find yourself painfully encountering a bee, wasp, mosquito, or some other type of insect who decides to take a bite out of you.
Bees are important pollinators but it can hurt when they sting. About 10 percent of the population suffer a serious reaction to these bites. A bee or wasp sting can create serious very health issues for those who are sensitive or allergic. An allergic reaction is more likely to occur again if you have previously had a bad reaction to a wasp or bee sting.
Your immune system remembers the previous encounter and may react with the same intensity and possibly with an increased reaction to the next bee or wasp sting that you receive. Having an Epipen on hand is a precaution which can save your life. If you know that you are allergic to a sting always keep an Epipen within arms reach and get to a doctor as quickly as possible after a sting occurs. To reduce the effect of an allergic reaction to a bee or wasp sting an Epipen is vital.
For milder reactions, or to slow down a severe reaction when an epipen is not available, Benadryl liquid allergy medication. You can use fresh lemon or a paste made from meat tenderizer to draw out the toxins from a sting. Tooth paste (not gel), a baking soda paste, or calamine lotion can help to soothe the pain, heat, and itch of a sting.
If you do not have access to an Epipen give oral Benadryl to help slow down the attack until medical help arrives. Benadryl will not stop an anaphylactic reaction but it may slow it down. An allergic reaction to a bee or wasp sting can be very serious. Although an anaphylactic shock reaction is rare it can kill within an hour if left untreated.
Emergency First Aide for a Bee or Wasp Sting
1. Get away from the area where you were stung and away from the danger of a further attack. When wasps and bees attack they send out a chemical message requesting reinforcements and you don't want to be around when those new recruits show up.
2. Remove the stinger as quickly as possible, but do not squeeze the venom sac, or you may unintentionally inject yourself with the venom. Remove the stinger by scraping the sting area with your fingernail or a credit card. If the stinger is still in you, then it will continue to pump venom into you, and increase the severity of the sting.
3. Wash the sting area with cool water and soap or disinfect with a dab of honey. Honey has antibacterial properties so is helpful in keeping bacteria out of a wound, cut, or burn.
4. Slice a lemon in half and hold this on the bee sting or hold a cold compress on the area. Do this for between 10 and 30 minutes.
5. Apply toothpaste, a baking soda paste, or calamine lotion to the sting area to help relieve the painful symptoms of a sting.
She May be Little But Her Bite Can Be Very Uncomfortable:
Reactions to a mosquito's bite are more common in children than in adults and also more likely to occur if numerous bites have been inflicted. Severe allergic reactions are rare but they do occur.
When my daughter was young she received multiple mosquito bites while we were on a country outing. Overnight she blew up like a balloon. Her skin had huge dark colored welts so bad she looked as though she had received a severe beating.
At the emergency ward they prescribed Dimetap Elixir for her symptoms (this is an allergy medication similar to the Benadryl Allergy Elixir doctors now prescribe). I can attest from personal experience that it worked very quickly to relieve her symptoms. I now recommend that an allergy Elixir be an essential item in every summertime medicine kit.
So why do some people experience a more negative reaction to a mosquito bite than others do? It is the mosquito's saliva which causes the allergic itch and burn symptoms we humans experience after a bite. When the female mosquito bites she also injects a protein laden saliva into us.
The saliva's proteins contain an anti-coagulate to keep your blood from clotting (this makes it easier for the mosquito to feed) but this saliva also can cause an immune system response in your body and an itching and burning sensation to the injection site. Scratching will make the symptoms worse so try not to scratch the bite and the symptoms should ease a little over time.
The more bites you receive or the more sensitive you are to this stimuli then the greater the chances of your experiencing a negative reaction to their visit.
Many of the same remedies for relief of bee and wasp stings also work for removing the itch and burn of mosquito bites. Benadryl Allergy Elixir can help to quickly relieve the painful symptoms of an allergic reaction to mosquito bites while the Benadryl Itch Relief cream or a calamine lotion can help to relieve the itch. A baking soda paste, toothpaste, fresh lemon, honey, or cold compress are natural treatments which can be used for relief of symptoms for mosquito bite allergy, itch, inflammation, burning, and stinging.
Give a bee a hand. Don't Use Toxic Chemicals.
If you don't know what has bitten you and you are concerned or if you experience a severe reaction to a bite or sting contact your doctor as soon as possible. Most of the emergency treatments discussed here will work to help to relieve the milder symptoms from most other types of insect bites and stings as well. I hope some of the natural remedies discussed here will help you out should you encounter an emergency bite or sting. Hopefully you will now also remember to include an allergy elixir in your summer emergency kit. You never know when it will come in handy.
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