There are all kinds of good, solid, logical reasons to protect yourself and your loved ones with health plans.  Find one that has health insurance premiums that you can afford because if you can’t afford the health premiums you won’t keep the insurance.  Travelers Insurance has probably the greatest reason of all.  It’s on their TV ads with red umbrellas and it says “We take the scary out of life”.  That pretty much sums it up.  Bee stings can be one of life’s scary things, especially if you are allergic to them.  There are some folk lore cures for bee stings.  One of them is to take a copper penny and tape it over the sting for 15 minutes.  The copper is supposed to remove the redness and swelling. Research on the web pretty much debunks the copper to sure bee stings.  However, there are some things you should know about bee stings and some things you should do if you get stung.

Medicinenet.com reports that “When bees or wasps sting a person they inject venom through their stinger into the skin of the victim.  Wasps, yellow jackets and hornets have stingers without barbs that are usually retracted upon stinging, and these insects can sting people multiple times. The honey bee (pictured) has a barbed stinger that remains in the victim’s skin with its venom sack attached.  About 3% of people stung by bees and wasps have an allergic reaction to the sting, and up to 0.8% of bee sting victims experience the severe and life-threatening allergic reaction know as anaphylaxis.”

The article goes on to say that most people have a localized reaction to a bee sting.  The skin will be reddened and painful and swelling and/or itching may occur but will usually go away in a few hours.  Sometimes there is a large local reaction and the swelling, redness and pain may last as long as a week.

You might also develop a systemic allergic reaction where the entire body is affected.  This may cause hives, redness, or swelling at sites on the body far away from the sting.  Symptoms may include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and dizziness.

Anaphylactic reactions are the ones to watch out for.  In the U.S. about 50 people are killed each year due to severe anaphylactic reactions to bee stings.  The reaction will usually occur within minutes of the bee sting.  Most individuals who have allergies to bee stings will have had a worsened reaction to every subsequent sting, and they should carry an injectable form of the drug epinephrine at all times.  In anaphylactic reactions victims experience wheezing, difficulty breathing and a drop in blood pressure that leads to shock if not treated promptly.  If you are stung by a bee or you have a history of severe reactions to insect stings call emergency medical services immediately.

For the rest of us if you are stung try to see and if the stinger is still present;  Look for a small black dot and use a hard object like a credit card to swipe over the area and remove the stinger.  After you have removed the stinger, apply ice to reduce the body’s inflammatory response.  The use of ibuprofen or acetaminophen can also provide relief.

Stings in the mouth or nose may also require emergency attention, since they can lead to swelling that can interfere with breathing.