April 07, 2014

Bee Sting Pain Worst on the Nose (Even More Than the Scrotum and Nipple)

Image by Waugsberg in Wikipedia
A Cornell graduate student took upon himself to figure where a bee sting hurts the most. His conclusion was the nostril... even more than the penis, scrotum, nipple, and 22 other body locations. Each body location was stung 3 times for consistency. [link]

He also determined that the three least painful locations to be the skull, middle toe tip, and upper arm (all scoring a 2.3 out of possible 10). The three most painful locations were the nostril, upper lip, and penis shaft (9.0, 8.7, and 7.3, respectively). Pain was rated on a 1–10 scale relative to an internal standard, the forearm.

The complete list of body locations in rank order can be found here.

Of course, this study was conducted on only one subject (the author) and as such, conclusions may not be entirely valid if done on a larger group of people.

However, I'm not sure how many people would volunteer for this kind of study and it is doubtful IRB would approve of any proposed study that would deliberately sting volunteers to various parts of the body including the genitals.

This may be a "one-of-a-kind" study.

Honey bee sting pain index by body location. PeerJ 2:e338 http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.338
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Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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