If you’re reading this article, chances are at some point in the last few days, one of these small but powerful creatures stung you. You might be wondering how to cure a jellyfish sting-and with good reason! The best way is not an easy task. It’s not like any old remedy will do it. Here are three remedies that have been proven beneficial in curing jellyfish sting pain and discomfort: vinegar, baking soda and alcohol (though we recommend using rubbing alcohol). read on for more information.
What is Jellyfish Sting Treatment?
There are a few different types of jellyfish sting treatments, depending on the severity of your sting. The best way to cure a jellyfish sting is to soak it in hot water for about twenty minutes. If this does not improve your situation within two days, you should probably see a doctor just to be safe. There might be something more serious lurking behind that annoying stinging feeling and we don’t want you living with any regrets later!
Where Do Jellyfish Live?
Jellyfish may be found in every ocean on the planet. Whether you’re in New York or San Diego, there are jellyfish all around you. In fact, these sea creatures have been swimming our seas for 500 million years!
Jellyfish are a recurrent problem on beaches, especially in tropical regions. Jellyfish do not swim independently; instead, they follow the natural ocean currents.
They’re not fast swimmers, either-some jellyfish can only travel between three to five miles per hour.
How Do Jellyfish Sting?
Most jellyfish are about the size of a dinner plate, though some are larger and others are smaller. There are two basic categories of stinging cells in most jellyfish: nematocysts and sporocysts. Nematocysts eject venom when triggered by contact or prey via a harpoon-like structure that attaches to the victim’s skin. Spirocysts don’t harm humans but instead paralyze their prey with toxins released from barbs on the cell wall.
What Causes Jellyfish Sting Pain?
Unlike bees or wasps, there is no “stinger” (or stinger cell) in jellyfish. The entire body of the jellyfish has a stinging cell, and this includes its tentacles. When you brush up against a tentacle (which is actually called an “epitoky”), it could break off and release stingers into your skin. Touching one part of the animal will not cause all of them to go off, though-but being stung by one does mean that others can as well! How Long Does Jellyfish Sting Pain Last?
The length of time that you experience jellyfish sting pain depends on how severe your reaction to the venom is as well as what kind type of cells released into your body.
6 Steps to Cure Your Jelly Fish Stink.
- Remove any tentacles from the affected area with something other than your bare fingers. If you have a towel or shirttail, that will work great. Rinse any remaining tentacles off the skin with salt water if possible.
- Rinse with vinegar or lemon juice to help neutralize the sting and remove any remaining venom.
- Rinse with cold water for about 10 minutes to stop the spread of the remaining venom.
- Apply ice to reduce swelling and pain.
- If you don’t have vinegar or lemon juice, rinse with salt water (the best option if stung in a pool) or rub alcohol (rubbing alcohol may cause cuts or scrapes in the skin which may lead to an infection).
- Seek medical attention if your condition worsens, especially if you’re experiencing severe pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea and/or confusion.
Prevent future stings by avoiding swimming near jellyfish populations during periods of high activity such as low tides and summer months when they are most likely to be present on shorelines.
How to Avoid Getting Stung by a Jellyfish
A smart way to avoid getting stung by a jellyfish is to stay out of the water if there’s been bad weather or strong currents, especially from dusk until dawn. Also, make sure you’re always careful when swimming in an area with visible signs of jellyfish shorelines and populations-they’re more active during low tides and at night. If you absolutely have to swim in these areas, try wearing a wetsuit or pantyhose as it helps reduce your body’s exposure to the jellyfish stingers.
Jellyfish stings are not usually serious enough to require hospitalization, although they may be painful. However, if you or someone else has been stung by a jellyfish and begins to experience severe side effects, you should go to the emergency department (or an urgent care facility) immediately and see a doctor.
The side effects of a severe reaction include:
- Muscle cramps or spasms
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the airways
- Chest pain when inhaling
People who are stung by jellyfish can experience itching, redness, swelling and/or a burning sensation in the affected area. Some may also develop hives, blisters or rashes on the skin. As with any medical condition, seek attention from your doctor if you have an adverse reaction to being stung by a jellyfish.
So, what can you do to prevent future jellyfish stings?
- Wearing a wetsuit – This will lessen your contact with marine life, making it more difficult to get stung.
- Check the lifeguard flags, and ask around – If you see a purple lifeguard flag, you hear lifeguards talking about jellies, or you hear about it on local news, it may be worth skipping the ocean until everything calms down a bit.
- Check the beaches for jellies – If you see several jellies strewn along the beach, it’s worth a second look to determine what kind of jellies they are. It’s improbable that anything will be harmful if they’re safe. However, if you notice many more hazardous jellies, it might be prudent to stay out of the water as a precaution.
- Lotions – There are several lotions on the market that can help prevent jellyfish stings, such as Safe Sea.
- Check the local jellyfish season, and don’t go into the water then – Many beaches have jellyfish seasons or periods when jellies are more prevalent. To keep your chance of being stung as low as possible, avoid going in the water during these times.
Avoiding jellyfish stings altogether is preferable, but if you are unfortunate enough to be stung, it’s good to know what remedies should and should not be used. If you’re unsure what caused your wound or if you experience any severe or adverse reactions, go see a doctor immediately.
Jellyfish stings are painful but should only be considered a moderate medical priority since they aren’t usually deadly or severely damaging. Nevertheless, people react differently to the venom in their system so it’s better to seek professional attention when possible.
Does Urinating on a Sting Actually Help?
You’ve probably heard that peeing on a jellyfish sting relieves pain, but it isn’t true. In reality, urinating on a sting may make the stinging barbs worse and inflict greater agony.
Can I Scrape the Stingers Out?
You should not use your hands to wash off or scrape the sting since rubbing or coming in contact with the barbs will only exacerbate the discomfort.
Does Rinsing a Sting with Water Help?
The water in the porthole will also sting. If you can’t remove them, or if they’re still there after your next trip through the rinse cycle, try rinsing the area with fresh water or saltwater instead of submerging it for another ten minutes. It’s a good idea to hold off on rinsing until after you’ve removed the barbs since doing so may irritate more vital tissues.
Does Using a Meat Tenderizer Help Against Jellyfish Stings?
A meat tenderizer, on the other hand, is an interesting cure since it can be used to ease the pain of a sting. This is due to the fact that jellyfish venom is protein-based, and meat tenderizer papain enzymes can break down proteins which reduces the impact of the toxin. However, this should only be done as a last resort. It’s preferable to resolve the problem with tweezers as soon as possible.