Bee sting: causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

Bee sting is the skin lesion caused by bee venom.


Causes

Male bees are without venom and do not sting humans. Female bees have venomous stinger and venom sac in their tail, developed from the ovipositor and used for oviposition and self-defense. The stingers are degenerated and stinging function is lost after copulation. Worker bees are with a tubular stinger in the tail, and the barb on the top of the stinger is connected to the venom sac. When they sting humans, the stingers often penetrate the skin deeper and deeper, often leaving their stingers in the skin after stings.

Figure 1 bees


Signs and Symptoms

There are immediate burning sensation, pruritus, and sharp pain after sting. Subsequently, local redness and swelling, wheals, and vesicles may occur. There is a petechia on the center of the sting. If there are some stings, large edema and sharp pain can occur. If the sting is on the periocular skin, the eyelid may develop edema. If the mouth or lips are stung, there may be obvious swelling of the mouth and generalized wheals.

Figure 2 bee sting


Diagnosis

If there is a history of bee stings, the disease can be diagnosed.


Treatment

The stingers in the skin should be removed immediately. Rinse with water and cold compress are appropriate.

If there are severe reactions, antihistamines can be administered.