This article has been medically reviewed by Howard Orel, MD. Board-certified and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Orel runs an energetic common pediatric apply, Advocare Marlton Pediatrics. He additionally serves as CEO of Advocare — one of many largest impartial medical teams within the nation.
If like many individuals, all the pieces you recognize about jellyfish sting therapy comes from that one episode of Friends or dad jokes about the advantages of urine, you will have just a few issues to find out about jellyfish sting first assist. First of all, should you’ve by no means been stung by a jellyfish your self, it is best to know that it may be extraordinarily painful, and never simply sting, it appears like a burn. As in, they will harm worse than a bee sting (normally and for individuals who aren’t allergic). Like, willing-to-let-someone-pee-on-you-painful. That’s why it’s so vital to know learn how to deal with a jellyfish sting instantly, in addition to how lengthy the stings are inclined to final, and whether or not there’s any remedy for the wound. Here’s what to find out about jellyfish sting therapy earlier than you hit the seashore subsequent.
What to Know About Jellyfish Stings
You can in all probability shut your eyes and film a jellyfish — all blobby with tentacles. And whereas some jellyfish definitely do appear to be this, it is best to know that jellyfish are available in a wide selection of sizes and colours, and never all of them have tentacles. This implies that jellyfish could be sneaky; simply since you did a fast scan for jellyfish within the water doesn’t imply you’ll have the ability to see all of them. For instance, some jellyfish are comparatively small, spherical, and fully clear, so that you gained’t know that you just’ve are available in contact with one till the stinging begins. Having stated that, not all jellyfish stings are equally painful: some are uncomfortable however don’t have you ever writhing in agony, whereas others could cause full-body systemic reactions, which, in some instances, could be life-threatening, in response to the Mayo Clinic.
Just a few extra issues to bear in mind. First, jellyfish stay in oceans world wide (i.e. there’s no escape), however essentially the most harmful ones are present in Australia, the Philippines, the Indian Ocean, and the central Pacific Ocean, YoungstersHealth explains. Also, whereas jellyfish don’t actively hunt people to torture, all it takes is touching or brushing up in opposition to one whereas swimming, or stepping on one (even when it’s useless) to get a painful sting.
Jellyfish Sting Symptoms
In most instances, a jellyfish sting begins hurting instantly, so should you ever really feel one thing all of a sudden painful whereas swimming or strolling on the seashore, it’s greatest to cease what you’re doing and test it out instantly. According to the Mayo Clinic, the commonest indicators and signs of a jellyfish sting are:
- Burning, prickling, stinging ache
- Red, brown, or purplish tracks on the pores and skin — a “print” of the tentacles’ contact together with your pores and skin
- Throbbing ache that radiates up a leg or an arm
More critical jellyfish stings may contain reactions in numerous methods of the physique, both instantly, or after just a few hours. These signs can embody (once more, per the Mayo Clinic):
- Stomach ache, nausea, and vomiting
- Muscle ache or spasms
- Weakness, drowsiness, fainting, and confusion
- Difficulty respiration
- Heart issues
How to Treat a Jellyfish Sting
Now it’s time to study the fundamentals of jellyfish sting first assist, and what to do should you or somebody you recognize is stung:
- Get the one that was stung out of the water.
- Rinse the sting with both sea/salt water or vinegar. Do not rinse it with contemporary water, the Cleveland Clinic advises.
- Use tweezers to softly pluck any tentacles left on the pores and skin.
Note that that is the naked minimal, and motion you possibly can take instantly — supplied you retain a small bottle of vinegar and a few tweezers in your seashore bag (which we suggest you do). And whilst you’re offering the preliminary first assist for the jellyfish sting, there are some things (apart from rinsing it with contemporary water) to keep away from:
- Do not scrape off any stingers nonetheless within the pores and skin. While this was advisable, we now know it will probably make issues worse, YoungstersHealth explains.
- Do not rub the world with the sting with a towel, your hand, or the rest.
- Do not apply ice packs to the affected pores and skin.
Once you’re capable of get dwelling (or someplace with a shower/bathe), the Mayo Clinic recommends soaking or immersing the world that was stung in scorching (however not scalding) water for 20-45 minutes. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Clinic has a extra elaborate therapy technique involving extra vinegar, shaving cream, baking soda, and a bank card.
So the place does the pee are available in? The reality is, it doesn’t — the concept of treating a jellyfish sting with urine is a fantasy, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences explains.
And how lengthy do jellyfish stings final? That all is determined by the severity of the sting. Sometimes the ache will go away in just a few hours. Other occasions, the sting may lead to a rash that sticks round for just a few weeks. While there is no such thing as a official jellyfish sting remedy, the Cleveland Clinic notes that making use of calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to the sting or rash may also help.