How to Treat Jellyfish Stings

How to Treat Jellyfish Stings

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What are Jellyfish Stings?

Jellyfish sting are the problems which are considered common for people who often dive, wade, swim in the sea. The stings occur when you have contact with the long tentacles of jellyfish and are injected with its venom from the numerous microscopic-barbed stingers [1].

The severity of the stings might vary rather greatly. The most usual symptoms will be red and pain with irritation on your skin. Sometimes, they might cause illness for your whole body or system [2].

What are the symptoms of Jellyfish Stings?

Commonly, you will suffer from the following symptoms which are [3]:

  • Pain that is stinging, prickling and burning.
  • The marks from the contact with jellyfish’s tentacles on your skin which can be purplish, brown or red.
  • Swelling and itching.
  • Numbness and tingling.
  • Pain that is throbbing and can radiate to the whole arm or leg.

In case of severe stings, the systems in your body will be affected. There will be reaction rapidly or sometimes couples of hour later. These are the signs of severe stings [4].

  • Vomiting and nausea.
  • Fever and headache.
  • Dizziness and weakness.
  • Problems with joints and muscle.
  • Losing consciousness.
  • Trouble with breathing.
  • Problems with heart.

However, the severity is also depended on other factors such as the size and type of jellyfish which you have contact as well as the health status, size and age of yours. People who are weak and children are more vulnerable and might have more severe reaction. Furthermore, the time and the size of the area which you have contact will also decide the severity [5].

What cause Jellyfish Stings?

The main cause of jellyfish stings is the tentacles and their microscopic-barbed stingers. There is a small bulb which keeps venom as well as a tube which is coiled and has sharp tip on each stinger. The venom is the weapon of jellyfish against both enemies and preys [6].

When there is contact between your skin and the tentacles, it will trigger the release of stingers. Your skin will be penetrated by the tube and injected with the venom. The contact area will be affected immediately [7].

Types of Jellyfish

Even though, there are some types of jelly fish which cause no harm to human, there are still some types that can make you suffer severe pain and even systemic reaction.

Box jellyfish: have another name as sea wasps. They can make you endure intense pain. Although it is rare, this type can sometimes trigger life-threatening reactions. The most dangerous species of this jellyfish can be found in the warm water of the Indian as well as Pacific oceans.

Portuguese man-of-war: have another name as bluebottle jellyfish. They can be found in warmer seas. The reason for its name is because of it gas-filled bubble which are either purplish or blue and it keep the jellyfish a float.

Sea nettle: can be found in both cool and warm seas. The most common place that you can find them is the northern coast of US as well as Chesapeake Bay.

Lion’s mane jellyfish: are the largest one. Their body size can be up to 1 meter in diameter. They normally live in northern regions which are cooler part of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Here are the top 14 most recommended tips for how to treat jellyfish stings that you can consider applying in order to get rid of the discomfort and pain as well as prevent further consequences.

1. Remove All Tentacles

When having jellyfish stings, first you should step ashore to examine the bite. Absolutely do not rub hard, as this can hurt the bite more seriously and scratching leading to infection. Then, examine if there have any tentacles in nearby bite or not. Pull out all tentacles to ensure no further venom can cause pain and penetrate into the body [8] [9] [10].

Remove all tentacles - How to Treat Jellyfish Stings

2. Wear Gloves While Taking Tentacles

Use a spoon or keys or something like that to remove all maintaining tentacles. This will help eliminate toxic substances which are hidden inside the bite. When taking tentacles, you need to wear special medical gloves. If not, bacteria can penetrate into the wound causing injury or infection worse.

Special Medical Gloves - How to Treat Jellyfish Stings

3. Wash the Bites with Seawater

The best way for how to treat jellyfish stings is using sea water to wash the jellyfish sting. Using another kind of water to wash the wound is not recommended because it can make the wound worse [11] [12] [13].

4. Alcohol

This ingredient is highly regarded for how to treat jellyfish stings due to its capability in neutralizing the cells contain thorns. Therefore, you can reduce pain by using alcohol (any type of alcohol that is available, but the best is white wine) or vinegar to put onto the injured area [14] [15].

White wine - How to Treat Jellyfish Stings

5. Ammoniac and Soda

This combination is extremely effective for how to treat jellyfish stings. You just need to mix a solution of water and ammoniac, vinegar, soda or seasoning then apply to the wound area (if the chemicals are not available, you can use lemon to rub on the wound), Using knives or objects with sides to gently scrape around the burned area [16] [17].

6. Hydrocortisone Cream

Jellyfish burn wounds are often redness and have straight or twisted form. They can cause intense burning pain. When encountering this wound, you should restrict movements, avoid touching the wound area. And there is one ingredient that you should definitely use for how to treat jellyfish stings which is the hydrocortisone cream in order to relieve itching and reduce swelling [18].

7. Sea Spinach Leaves

Another simply method for how to treat jellyfish stings is using sea spinach leaves. Take some spinach leaves then crush and apply on the bite. However you should notice that sea spinach leaves should be washed in order to prevent bacterial penetration [19].

Sea Spinach leaves - How to Treat Jellyfish Stings

8. Do not Apply Urine

Some people say that using urine to illuminate on jellyfish bite wounds would treat them quickly out. But according to the doctor, it is not recommended because this can make the wound become worse. The pH of urine can cause the wound swelling, redness and large spills.

9. Ice Cube

Cooling the jellyfish stings wound with ice. Jellyfish bite wounds are often burning. In this situation, take some ice cubes, wrap them in a cloth bag and then apply the compress on the wound. This will help you on how to treat jellyfish stings and get relief from the pain soon [20] [21].

Ice cubes - How to Treat Jellyfish Stings

Ice is also a useful remedy for many other health and beauty problems. Read more How to Get Rid of Blood Blisters and Home Remedies for Headache.

10. Sugar

Sugar can also help in the situation of how to treat jellyfish stings. When having jellyfish bite you should quickly sprinkle a little sugar to the bite, then rinse off with clean water. Sugar helps drain jellyfish toxins out of the affected skin [22].

Sugar - How to Treat Jellyfish Stings

11. Vinegar

Acetic acid in vinegar ingredients can help reduce pain, prevent the poison from spreading. If you unfortunately get jellyfish sting, you can dilute a little vinegar with water and apply to the bite. The vinegar can help reduce pain and burning very fast [23].

Vinegar - How to Treat Jellyfish Stings

Learn more about other benefits of vinegar at Home Remedies for Dry Feet.

12. Handle in the Following Stages

Use soft gauze to wash the wound with physiological salt water, Hydrogen Peroxide, Betadine, or other mild antiseptic gauze; take some oral systemic antibiotics such as Amoxicillin, Erythromycin to prevent all risks.

13. Health Care

After conducting the temporary treatment with jellyfish burning you should take rest and monitor the wound within 8 hours. If it still has any pain or other symptoms then you should go to medical facilities for treatment timely. Note that the jellyfish burn injuries should be restricted movements and you should avoid collisions on the injured area.

After burned areas are dry and cleaned of toxins, the doctor will conduct specific medical care for burn injuries jellyfish such as therapy of cordicosteroid, antihitmine

14. Extra Notes for Avoiding Jellyfish Stings When Go Swimming in the Sea

Jellyfishes appear frequently in the summer, especially when the southwest monsoon starts to blow. This time, jellyfishes often focus near shore to reproduce. When you get jellyfish bite, it is because you bathe in the offshore.

Equip yourself a few tips when going out in the sea to avoid the regrettable risks

After the rain is finished, you should not rush out to sea for bathing immediately. This is because for the moment a lot of jellyfish will concentrate in a place and you will be prone to biting.

Equip yourself a few tips when going out in the sea so that you can avoid the regrettable risks and enjoy the summer more fully.

*Disclaim: The effectiveness from applying these natural tips will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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