Effective Way to Treat Jellyfish Sting!

Effective ways to treat jellyfish sting work well as the summer fun can quickly end if you get caught in jellyfish. It is a common sea creature, and several species of it carry dangerous venom in their tentacles as a form of self-defense against predators.

When you come into contact with a tentacle, it can cause millions of nematocysts to pierce the skin and inject venom. It is this venom that makes a jellyfish sting so painful. Some common symptoms of a bite are burning, stinging and itchy skin ; a tingling or numbness where the sting occurred; throbbing pain that radiates down a leg or arm; and the skin in the area of ​​the bite turns red or purple.

Sometimes, one can experience severe symptoms such as nausea , dizziness, vomiting and difficulty breathing. In this case, immediate medical attention is needed or it can become life-threatening. The severity of symptoms depends on the type of jellyfish that stings you and the number of nematocysts on your skin . The two most dangerous types are found only in the Pacific Ocean, near Australia.

Most bites get better with home treatment. In fact, there are many simple and effective remedies that can remove the venom and provide quick relief from symptoms.

Effective way to treat jellyfish sting:

1. Step out of the water calmly:

As soon as you realize you’ve been stung by a jellyfish, don’t panic and get out of the water  as calmly as possible. Look for the dirt to avoid getting repeatedly stung, which can make things really bad. When getting out of the water, do not scratch the sting site or touch it with your hands. When touched with bare hands, the tentacles that may still be attached to your skin will only hurt more.

Once in a safe area, rinse the stinger with sea water to wash away the tentacles or stinging tissue. Do not use fresh water, it is believed to activate nematocysts. Avoid rubbing the area with a towel after rinsing, as this can activate any remaining stingers.

2. Rinse with vinegar:

After leaving the water and rinsing the sting site with sea water, the next step is to immediately rinse it with vinegar. White vinegar should reduce pain and deactivate the toxin. A 2017 study concluded that washing with vinegar is the most effective treatment for jellyfish stings. Wash the affected area with vinegar for at least 30 seconds.

Carefully remove the visible tentacles with fine tweezers. Do not touch the tentacles directly! Soak the skin in hot water between 43 and 45°C. Keep the affected skin immersed or in a warm bath for 20 to 45 minutes. If the vinegar seems too strong, you can dilute it with salt water. Do not use fresh water to dilute it, as this will further irritate the bites.

3. Hot water immersion:

Another of the effective way to treat jellyfish sting  is a hot water immersion. The high temperature will help deactivate the venom and also lessen the burning sensation of the sting. A 2006 study reported that immersion in water at 45°C for 20 minutes is an effective and practical treatment for the pain of jellyfish stings.

Heat a few cups of water between 43° to 45°C. Add some salt and stir well. Soak the affected area in salt water for 10 minutes at a time. Repeat as needed.

4. Apply a cold compress:

After the initial treatment is done, you can use a cold compress to reduce pain and swelling. Cold temperature has a numbing effect, which helps lessen the sensation of pain. It will also reduce swelling and inflammation by numbing the nerves.

Wrap some ice cubes in a thin cloth. Also, apply this compress to the affected area for 10 minutes. Pause and repeat if necessary to reduce pain. Soaking the affected area in cold water can also help. Repeat as needed.

Caution: Never place ice directly on the skin as it may cause burns.

5. Sodium bicarbonate:

To neutralize the nematocysts and their venom, you can also use baking soda. It acts as a natural acid neutralizer that helps reduce the effect of jellyfish poison. This, in turn, decreases itchiness and the risk of infection. Also, being an anti-inflammatory agent, it helps to reduce swelling, inflammation , and redness.

Mix 1 teaspoon of salt with 3 tablespoons of baking soda. Add 1 cup of seawater to the mixture to form a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then wash it off with sea water. Repeat twice a day for the best results.

6. Aloe Vera Gel:

Aloe vera contains excellent anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce swelling, inflammation and pain that can be experienced due to jellyfish stings. It will also work effectively to soothe the skin as well as prevent itchy skin feeling .

Extract the gel from a freshly washed aloe vera leaf. Also, apply to the affected area. Leave for a few hours, then rinse with warm water. Use this remedy 2 or 3 times a day. You can even freeze aloe vera gel in an ice cube tray and use the frozen cubes as a cold compress. Apply to the bite site a few times a day.

7. Oat flour:

For any type of itchiness and inflammation, oatmeal is a very effective home remedy and can obviously be used to deal with jellyfish stings. Oatmeal contains anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that provide immediate relief from itching and reduce inflammation.

It is recommended to use colloidal oatmeal, that is, oats that are ground into an extremely fine powder. Add 2 cups of colloidal oatmeal to a tub filled with warm water and stir well. Soak in this water for at least 30 minutes. Repeat 2 or 3 times a day, depending on the severity of your symptoms.

8. Chamomile:

Chamomile is another helpful remedy for jellyfish stings. In addition, its anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties soothe the skin , relieve itching, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. It is as effective as hydrocortisone, the main active ingredient in topical steroid creams that doctors recommend to treat jellyfish stings.

Make 2 cups of chamomile tea and store in the fridge for 1 hour. Also, soak a towel in this fresh tea and place it on the affected area. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Do this a few times a day for a few days. Alternatively, add 4 or 5 drops of chamomile essential oil to 1 tablespoon of coconut or castor oil. Apply to the affected area a few times a day.

9. Witch Hazel:

Witch hazel is another effective way to treat jellyfish stings  thanks to its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps relieve itching, pain and swelling. Put a few drops of witch hazel in a glass of water. Also, soak a cotton ball and apply it on the affected area. Repeat as needed. Also, another option is to use an over-the-counter witch hazel lotion on the affected area.

10. Wear protective clothing:

Jellyfish typically only pose a threat to bare skin  , which means protective clothing can prevent most stings. Therefore, when swimming or diving in areas where there is a risk of being stung, wear a wetsuit or other protective clothing.

A 2009 study reports that protective clothing for marine rail safety is mandatory. In addition, the study found that Lycra fabric is the best choice for everyday wear and sting guard. Also, opt for protective footwear, as stings can also occur while navigating in shallow water.

Additional Tips:

Another safe and effective way to prevent bites is to use a lotion designed to repel and protect against them. If you are bitten, do not wash the wound with fresh water, alcohol or methylated spirits. The change in pH can cause the nematocysts to release more venom.

Do not treat jellyfish stings with urine, as this can cause the nematocysts to release more venom. Also, do not use your bare hands to pull out any tentacles stuck in the skin . To remove stingers that have not fallen out after rinsing the area, use tweezers and carefully pry them out.

Useful links: 

Do not scrape, rub or scrape a jellyfish sting. A hydrocortisone cream can be used to reduce inflammation. Apply castor oil to the bite every day until the bite begins to heal. Use a cotton ball to apply the oil. Also, rub an antihistamine cream on the stinger if you experience excessive redness or swelling, or if you have hives.

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