Drs. Eitches and Baum, 310.657.4600
8631 W 3rd St, 925 E; L.A., CA 90048
In general, avoidance is the best medicine. Along those lines, ways
to decrease the likelihood of a sting include the following:
1) Cover your feet when walking outdoors. This is especially true
when walking along the water’s edge at the beach.
2) Avoid looking like a flower - wear muted clothing, avoid bright,
colorful outfits and especially polka dots (thank goodness
they’re not in fashion).
3) Avoid smelling like a flower - don’t wear perfumes or scented
4) Don’t eat outdoors or have an outdoor picnic. Also, don’t drink
from a soda can outdoors, since a bee might get inside and
sting you on the lips when you take a sip.
With honeybees, the stinger is barbed and stays in the skin. Flick the
stinger out with a credit card or your fingernail. If you pull out the
stinger, you will empty the venom sack into your body and get 50%
more venom into your system.
Subsequent stings may be worse than previous stings.
If you are stung and have a systemic reaction such as total body
hives or trouble breathing, go to an emergency room ASAP. If your
physician has given you home adrenaline, you should use it sooner
than later. You should also head towards an emergency room unless
your reaction subsides. Consult your physician for further details.
Diagnosis of bee sting allergy is done by a simple blood test. If you
are found allergic to certain types of bees (honeybee allergy is most
common in Southern California) you can get desensitized to any or all
of them via allergy injections. It usually takes about 17 weekly
injections to hit a maintenance dose that’s equivalent to two bee
stings. That dosage is continued every 4 to 6 weeks for at least three
years. Bee sting allergy shots are effective about 95% of the time.