It should of course be remembered that this website author does not claim to have any medical expertise and the treatment suggested here is that which is commonly suggested and offered by medical practitioners in Europe and North America.
The advice provided herein is just a general descriptive guide and to avoid any doubt professional advice should always be sought.
Broadly speaking the treatments for wasp, hornet and bee stings depend on the symptoms and reactions shown by the unfortunate victim.
As a rule of thumb,
if it just hurts and stings around the area of the sting (within 10 cm or 4 inches) the victim is almost certainly exhibiting the classic reaction to a wasp or bee sting. Treatment can be carried out at home using over the counter creams and home remedies (see Treatments for Local Reactions). If the sting is near the mouth, face or throat then a visit to A & E would be sensible just in case the local swelling obstructs airways.
if you are experiencing “unusual feelings” of any description anywhere else on the body, then you are almost certainly having an allergic reaction – something which is different in kind from a local reaction. For complete safety you should seek medical advice – just like the 500,000 US citizens who visit A & E every year with an insect sting problem.
An allergic reaction is often called a systemic reaction because the reaction to the venom affects the body system rather than the local area of the sting. The reaction is therefore referred to as a systemic reaction and for the great majority of people they suffer a mild systemic reaction.
The more “unusual” and “unpleasant” the feelings, the faster you should go to your nearest A & E department (seeTreatment for Anaphylactic Reactions) because the mild systemic reaction is becoming a severe systemic reaction, or what is often called an anaphylactic reaction. The symptoms for Anaphylactic Reactions are detailed on this website too.
The long term cure for an allergic reactions to insects is venom immunotherapy. This can only ever be undertaken under medical supervision because for a small number of people it can lead to anaphylaxis. In the great majority of countries this treatment is therefore taken in hospital next to the Emergency Room. To my knowledge there has been no deaths for patients undertaking venom immunotherapy in the hospital environment and therefore I would strongly urge all visitors to this website not to consider venom immunotherapy unless it takes place in a hospital with a fully equipped Emergency Room.
These descriptions are broad but then so are the symptoms exhibited by reactions to insect stings – it is also a grey area for many victims, so having trawled around books and the Internet, as a rule of thumb I think these are pretty sensible descriptions and ways of defining whether you are allergic or not to insect stings.
Lets face it, in an emergency rules of thumb count a lot more in any event just because there is less time to start reading a tick list and analysing web pages.
For more details of the type of symptoms that my be generated reactions see The Reactions area of this website.