Bee stings are usually little more than an annoyance most of the time. Yes, the sting is painful for a short while, but you typically just administer some first aid and forget about it. Sometimes, however, complications can occur and things may become more serious. This article takes a closer look at some of the main complications that can develop when you are stung by a bee. 


Occasionally, a skin infection may occur at the site of the sting. These infections often occur two or three days after the sting. If you have a sting that appears to be getting better at first, but then starts to become warm and tender after a few days, this might indicate that an infection is present. Other signs of infection are fluids, especially anything that looks like pus, leaking from the site of the sting and red streaks spreading away from the area. 


If you have an allergic reaction to a bee sting, the issue will require immediate medical attention if the reaction is severe. A severe allergic reaction typically involves areas of the body that are not near the site of the sting. For example, if you are stung on the leg and have an allergic reaction, you may experience difficulty breathing and your face and throat may start to swell. Also, your pulse rate may quicken and you may feel dizzy. In some cases, a severe allergic response to a sting can result in cardiac arrest, so get emergency treatment as quickly as possible. 


Even if you are not allergic to bee stings, you might still have a serious reaction if you are stung many times. Multiple stings at once increase the amount of toxicity in your body, which can cause severe symptoms. These reaction might include vomiting and nausea, a headache and a fever, as well as convulsions and vertigo.  


A rare, but still possible, complication from a sting is a delayed reaction called serum sickness. This condition is a belated response by the immune system to the sting. In addition to swelling at the site of the sting, symptoms can include hives, wheezing and diarrhea. Serum sickness is typically treated with antihistamines and antibiotics.  

Bee stings are generally nothing to be be concerned about, but be aware that complications, such as allergic reactions and skin infections are a possibility. For more information about this topic, visit a website like