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Author Topic: My goodness, the Itch is UNBELIEVABLE! AGAIN!  (Read 2571 times)
handymandave
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« on: August 12, 2009, 09:34:28 PM »

I am a new beek and have now accumulated about a dozen stings for various reasons.

Yesterday, one of the girls got inside the cuff of a vinyl glove I use to keep the propolis off my fingers, and got me on my wrist. The sting itself was nothing, but EVERYTIME, the subsequent itching is nearly unbearable. It actually wakes me at night. Ice, meat tenderizer, Calamine, benedryl externally and internally, it all helps briefly, a small amount, but it takes about 4 days of real misery for the itching to stop.

I know immunity should develop eventually, but how do I deal with the incredible itching in the meantime?

Alternately, should I resign myself to a full beesuit and long gloves every time I need to handle the girls?

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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2009, 09:55:42 PM »

don't think i have had that many stings in the last 5 years  smiley

i have the same problem with the itching.  the only thing i have found that helps is Vagisil.  benadryl immediately after the sting helps.  if you wait, it won't.  if you don't take it a few times in the 1st 24, it won't do as well. 

next best thing is a hairbrush.

you may or may not develop a tolerance.  i have not. if it's a problem, suit up.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
hardwood
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2009, 10:16:55 PM »

The only time I experience any reaction at all really is when I'm zapped on the hand...especially the knuckles. I don't know why it only happens to my hands, but I swell up with Mickey Mouse hands for a couple of days and then the itching starts.

And of course the only place I ever get stung is on my knuckles  Cry

I found that if I'm going to do a deep inspection, with a better chance of pissin' the girls off, I can just take a antihistamine about an hour before I go out. If I get stung, the reaction is reduced...if not, the drugs make for a really wonderful nap that day!

Peace be yours,
Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

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Grandma_DOG
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2009, 11:37:24 PM »

That itch is likely localization effect.  You can get stings all over your arm, but only one spot will cause my arm to frilling itch like a sob.  You just got lucky and hit your itch spot.

I am a new beek and have now accumulated about a dozen stings for various reasons.

Yesterday, one of the girls got inside the cuff of a vinyl glove I use to keep the propolis off my fingers, and got me on my wrist. The sting itself was nothing, but EVERYTIME, the subsequent itching is nearly unbearable. It actually wakes me at night. Ice, meat tenderizer, Calamine, benedryl externally and internally, it all helps briefly, a small amount, but it takes about 4 days of real misery for the itching to stop.

I know immunity should develop eventually, but how do I deal with the incredible itching in the meantime?

Alternately, should I resign myself to a full beesuit and long gloves every time I need to handle the girls?


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luvin honey
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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2009, 11:57:45 PM »

Sometimes I sit and think about the repercussions of that intense itching in a more intimate area. Imagine getting stung in your $#(*(# or even the @#91##43, or what about the #$#(*))@? Wouldn't that be a great time to ask off work and deal with the itching in private?  Wink

luvin honey, whose stings thankfully have been in scratchable areas
« Last Edit: August 13, 2009, 12:21:56 AM by luvin honey » Logged

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honeytaker
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2009, 12:09:29 AM »

i got stung a few weeks back twice in the throat and three times in the back of my neck swelled up like a pear had to got see a doc and ive been stung many many times over the years know gear at all hard core and paid for it made me think alot about a suit my best hive they are mean mean girls
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MustbeeNuts
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2009, 12:18:49 PM »

They make the gear for reason, I'm a wimp , gloves , veil, and full suit all the time, come close to heat stroke a few times but better than itchin for a few days. I hate itchin.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2009, 12:26:20 PM »

Took me about 5 years to get over the itchin'.   Ahh...and it is soooo wonderful!! yippie chick

I tried benedryl, it only made me sleep.  I still sometimes use long canvas gloves (not sting proof), plenty of smoke, don't move so fast now, and avoid the brood boxes when possible.

I was going to try the Vagisil, but I'm a guy and didn't have anywhere to apply it.  I dunno

Smiley
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Rick
tandemrx
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2009, 12:26:36 PM »

I am a pharmacist, but usually hesitate to provide medical advice on forums such as this . . . still . . . a couple important points (especially since I get the horrible-unable-to-sleep itch after some bites as well  shocked).  

And remember, it is not entirely a specific immune response (certainly it is in part an immune response), but in part it is a response to a specific direct toxin that also includes the release of other inflammatory mediators than histamine, so actually building an immunity may well not happen for many.

Antihistimines at any point after a bite can be quite helpful.  They block histamine at receptors, not the release of histamine, but they don't provide a complete block, so when your body is overwhelmed by histamine release after a bite they will never be completely effective.  But they will always block part of the histimine part of the response (again here, there are other inflammatory mediators at play that the antihistamine does not help control).  You need to take them regularly (daily for loratadine) because histamine will be released for some time after a bite (different for different people).

That being said, there is no reason not to use the nonsedating antihistamines such as Claritin type products (I just use generic loratadine, just as good, cheaper) over benadryl/diphenhydramine.  Benadryl can be very sedating for some people and cause other problematic side effects, especially in the first few days of taking it, which is when you need it most.  Using more than the recommended dose of loratadine can bring about sedation and probably will not help more - so stick with recommended dose.  Zyrtec (cetirizine) is another reasonable choice, possibly a little more sedating than loratadinine, but still much less than benadryl.

For topical agents to help control itch, the 2 mainstays will be a hydrocortisone cream or ointment and a benzocaine (anesthetic) cream or spray (I like the sprays).

Vagisil is simply either a hydrocortisone or benzocaine product (it depends on which vagisil product you use there are a bunch of them - not always the cheapest way to go, but not an unreasonable choice - just no better than other hydrocortisone or benzocaine products).

Hydrocortisone cream or ointment is available generically and cheaply over the counter.  It won't get rid of all the itch because it can only penetrate so far and the  histamine and inflammatory mediators surround the entire bite area and can be quite deep.

benzocaine or lidocaine products such as Americaine spray (or lanacaine or solarcaine - or even vagisil version that that contains benzocaine, or the "sting-kill" swabs or wipes) can provide very nice short term itch/pain relief.  Don't over do it though as too frequent use or  putting on too much of these anesthetics can be dangerous.  Read the directions for the benzocaine products - be careful near eyes or mucous membranes.

So, quick and regular use of non-sedating antihistamine like loratadine, some benzocaine spray when the itch/pain is really bad, and some hydrocortisone cream are the mainstays.  They won't stop the whole shebang, but its the best we have. Sad

Only other option is oral doses of steroids, but that really needs to be reserved for very very serious reactions (and is only available by prescription for good reason) - not just horrible itching  Cry.

FWIW

Here was a bad one I got a couple weeks ago.  Just after I took off my bee suit by my truck away from hive I got a sneak attack. (before and after - I don't always swell up bad and this one actually didn't itch much, but it was not great to get stung right between the eyes  shocked).  face protection is good!

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kathyp
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2009, 12:49:24 PM »

the reason i landed on the vagisil (anti-itch type) is that when i compared benzocaine amounts in grocery store products, this was the strongest.   grin  i had gone through most of the stuff in the store before i thought to check it. 

i wasn't just trying to get you guys into the store to buy ladies stuff.  i promise!!  evil  evil
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
tandemrx
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2009, 01:15:59 PM »

Hey kathyp

20% benzocaine that is in vagisil (extra strength *edit . . that would be the "maximum strength" version*) is available in a number of other products (like americaine or lanacaine, many "first aid" spray or creams).

So no need to not treat something due to embarrasement  Smiley (also, you have read carefully, because one of the vagisil products, the "satin anti-itch" is hydrocortisone, not benzocaine).

Also the lower strength benzocaine like 5% that is also available in certain products (like original strength vagisil and other first aid creams and sprays) can be nice because you can use it more often (less benzocaine dose per application than the 20% jobs).  Big issue with benzocaine is that it does not have a long duration of action and you don't always need 20% to kill the itch.

FWIW
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kathyp
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2009, 06:17:21 PM »

thanks for the info.  next time i need stuff, i think i'll try a drug store instead of the grocery store.  to limited in choices. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
trapperbob
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2009, 06:38:49 PM »

A lady at our bee meeting last night said if you use a mixture of ammonia and baking soda as soon as possible on the area that got stung it stops the itching before it has a chance to start. I have not tryed this yet my self but a couple of others at the meeting confirmed that it works well.
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Natalie
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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2009, 07:32:55 PM »

I have heard of baking soda and used it in a pinch a couple of years ago when one of my kids got stung by a yellow jacket but never heard of using the ammonia.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2009, 07:00:18 AM »

One of the best things you can do is also get the stinger out fast. There are huge differences in reaction between a stinger being in 1 second, 5 seconds, and 10 seconds. I see many get the bee off and still have the stinger in for a period of time until they can walk away from the area, or realize it is still there.

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charmd2
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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2009, 09:26:26 AM »

Natalie, all the sting ease type medications on the market are ammonia.    Expensively packaged ammonia. 

I still swear by the plaintain leaf crushed and juiced over the area. 
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Charla Hinkle
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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2009, 11:07:17 AM »

Sometimes I sit and think about the repercussions of that intense itching in a more intimate area. Imagine getting stung in your $#(*(# or even the @#91##43, or what about the #$#(*))@? Wouldn't that be a great time to ask off work and deal with the itching in private?  Wink

luvin honey, whose stings thankfully have been in scratchable areas

Well, I can tell you that I got a direct hit on the 'bulls eye', which made me swell up like 'Dolly Partons sister' on one side only. That was not from a honey bee, but from something that came in through the window when I was driving down the highway....I ripped off my t shirt right in front of a state trooper, who decided to drive on for some reason.... That itched me terrible and always when I was out in public. Nothing that I applied to stop the itch worked.

I am more scared of getting stung in the eye area than anywhere else. I have also heard that stings to the temple area are worse too.

Brenda

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tandemrx
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« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2009, 11:25:06 AM »

Natalie, all the sting ease type medications on the market are ammonia.    Expensively packaged ammonia. 

Both the Sting Eze and Sting Kill products found over the counter in the US contain benzocaine.

There are ammonia containing products out there (After-bite and possibly others).

I won't refute home remedies, but ammonia has questionable value for bee stings and can irritate the skin.
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Natalie
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« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2009, 12:39:22 PM »

Rebel rose, I got stung on the temple a couple of weeks ago and it was the worst so far.
It hurt down to my ear and on the inside of my mouth, my teeth ached. It was really strange how much it spread to other places but the pain was the absolute worse I have had, I could not believe the pain. I have been stung before but never had this type of pain, I am still wondering if it hit a nerve or if the temple is just a really bad spot to get stung.
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Cossack
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« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2009, 11:35:27 PM »

Grow up and take it like the rest of us.

stop wining.............................................

Your still alive so be happy...

 grin
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I had a dream last night, I was eating a 10 pound marshmallow. I woke up this morning and the pillow was gone.....
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