Jellyfish stings are a common nuisance to swimmers and divers.
Stings range from mild to severe.
Stings cover large areas of skin
You have symptoms of a severe reaction, such as tightening of the air passages or throat, difficulty breathing, feeling weak or
Jellyfish stings can cause Immediate burning pain, such as painful red marks or lines that develop after several minutes to several hours, itching, tingling and numbness, blisters and
throbbing pain that may radiate up a leg or arm to the torso.
Severe symptoms can occur with widespread stings and are most common in children and older adults. Signs and symptoms of severe jellyfish
stings can include nausea, vomiting, headache, muscle spasms, weakness, trouble controlling muscle movement, dizziness and fever.
Most jellyfish stings can be treated with home remedies. Steps include:
- Deactivating stingers. Use a gloved hand to pull off tentacles
- Wash the sting area immediately with seawater to remove any remaining tentacles stingers.
- Rinse off any tentacles that are still on your arm. Do this with distilled white vinegar
if possible. The acid will neutralize the stinging cells, which can still fire even after they are disconnected from the jellyfish
- Urine does not work
to neutralize the stinging cells, because the acid content is not high enough. If you do not have access to vinegar, use sea water to rinse off additional tentacles.
Do not use fresh water to rinse off the tentacles. This will reactivate the stinging cells and create a whole new world of hurt.
- Remove leftover stingers by applying shaving cream, a paste of seawater and baking soda, or seawater and talcum powder
to the sting area. Scrape it off with a credit card to scrape them from your arm when it dries.
- Relieving pain. Ice and over-the-counter skin creams (such as calamine lotion) can help with pain and itching. Rinsing or soaking the sting area with hot water may also help.
If you have any pain relief medication or an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen, take it. If you have benadryl or any other oral anti-histamine, take that as well. These will
help relieve pain, swelling and in the case of benadryl, help to prevent a severe allergic reaction..
For severe stings, home remedies may not be enough, and medical attention or emergency treatment may be
needed. Emergency treatment can include resuscitation, life support (in the case of a systemic reaction), antivenom or pain control.