- Rhubarb juice
Anecdotal evidence suggests that fresh squeezed juice from the stalk of the rhubarb plant is purported to have the same effect that plantain juice tends to have. Needs to be prepared and applied the exact same way as the plantain treatment mentioned earlier!
- Parsley juice
This is an alternative to the plantain or the rhubarb juice treatment, to be prepared and applied the exact same way.
- Calendula flowers
Another alternative to plantain, rhubarb and parsley juice treatments.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera seems to be a magical elixir that gets rid of most skin ailments and its emollient and antibacterial properties can help you recover from a bee sting as well! The most effective way to apply this treatment would be to get it directly from the leaf of an Aloe Vera plant.
Simply pluck a leaf from the Aloe Vera plant, chop off the rinds to take the leaf apart and then scrape the gel with the help of a cotton swab and apply it on the site of the sting as often as you would like.
If you cannot get hold of any Aloe Vera leaves, then please visit your local pharmacist to purchase a bottle of organic Aloe Vera gel and use that instead.
Over the counter (OTC) Treatments
- Antibacterial ointment
After you have pulled the stinger out and cleaned out the area with some soap and water, you need to protect the area from secondary infections. An antibiotic ointment such as a tube of povidone iodine is available at your pharmacy without a prescription. Feel free to apply liberal amounts of the same on the affected area and protect it with some gauze and medical tapes.
- Calamine lotion
A calamine lotion (Brand Name: Caladryl or Lacto Calamine) has analgesic effects, which can relive the pain and the itchiness associated with a bee, wasp or hornet sting. Simply apply liberal amounts of the lotion on the affected area and the symptoms should ease in about 45 minutes.
Feel free to re-apply the treatment in about 4 hours.
- OTC Painkillers
As mentioned several times already, both bee and wasp stings cause intense pain. Feel free to take some OTC painkillers like ibuprofen or Tylenol to get some relief from the same.
- OTC antihistamine
If you are suffering a moderate reaction to a bee or a wasp sting, you are having an allergic reaction. You need not worry because there are several OTC antihistamines that are available at your local pharmacy that you can consider taking. The most popular ones are diphenhydramine (Brand name: Benadryl) and loratadine (Brand Name: Claritin). Simply refer to the dosage on the package or you may seek the advice of your pharmacist.
Please note that diphenhydramine is a sedative and loratidine isn’t. Hence, if you are looking to catch some sleep, then you should consider taking Benadryl. However if you are in the middle of the workday, then it is recommended that you take Claritin.
People who have a history of severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis would already have a prescription of epinephrine. (Brand Name: EpiPen or Twinject) If you have a history of severe allergic reactions, make sure that you carry two doses of the same with you at all times!
If you have had a tetanus shot within the last ten years, then you are protected from most of the adverse severe reactions of a bee, wasp or hornet sting. However, if you have not had a tetanus shot within the last decade, please consider getting one within the next few days.
Steroids: If the antihistamines prove to be ineffective.
In case of an emergency
If someone goes into an anaphylactic shock from a bee sting, you need to call emergency services right away. The paramedics are adept at dealing with such situations and they will probably administer the following:
- Epinephrine: To reduce the allergic response of the body.
- Intravenous (IV) antihistamines or costisone: To reduce the inflammation in the air canal.
- Beta agonist (Brand name: Albuterol): To normalize breathing.
- Oxygen: If necessary
If the IV antihistamines and the beta agonist fails to have the desired effect, then the paramedics may make an incision on the trachea to place a breathing tube. The sufferer is then transferred to the nearest medical facility for further treatment.