JellyFish Facts

How to Cure a Jellyfish Sting

How to Cure a Jellyfish Sting picture

How to Cure a Jellyfish Sting

Jellyfish is one of the oldest living creature on our planet and has been inhabiting the ocean for millions of years. Although a non-aggressive creature, the jellyfish is equipped with stinger cells on its tentacles, and it injects its venom into any living creature that comes in contact with it. This is more of a reflex reaction than a deliberate act, as the jellyfish does not have a brain and mainly behaves with a set of reactions to given stimuli. There are only certain species of jellyfish that are harmful to humans and these pack a nasty sting.

Many venomous jellyfish are found in the waters near coast lines and they float very near the surface of the water. Most of them are tiny in size and have a translucent color, making them almost impossible to detect. Hundreds of people who go for a swim at a beach get stung by the jellyfish every year. The swimmers inadvertently brush past a jellyfish and the creature reacts by lashing out with its tentacles and stinging them. Most jellyfish stings are extremely painful, and will require immediate first aid to bring down the pain.

The jellyfish has thousands of stinger cells called nematocysts on its tentacles and these are fired like minute darts into the person's flesh. The first thing to do when a person is stung, is to neutralise the venom of this stinger cells by pouring undiluted vinegar over the affected part. The acetic acid in vinegar acts as a neutralising agent and makes the cells ineffective. These stinger cells will be sticking to the skin like small splinters and they can be scraped off by a card after they have been doused by vinegar.

The toxicity of the venom of various species of jellyfish is different. How to cure a jellyfish sting, will mainly depend on the type of jellyfish that has stung the person. Certain jellyfish stings will only require the proper washing of affected area in vinegar, and later probably some pain killers, like ibuprofen and so on. Later a hot bath is also recommended to soothe the pain.

Certain jellies like the Box jellyfish have a high toxicity in their venom and can cause death within minutes. Such stings can only be cured by administering anti-venom, within a short period. Even after administering the anti-venom the recovery will take a long time and various other treatments are provided to fight the symptoms that are brought about by the sting.

The Irukandji jellyfish is another venomous creature and its sting is known to bring about pain and a set of symptoms called the Irukandji syndrome. There is no known cure for this jellyfish sting, but many people have shown improvement with a treatment of Magnesium Sulfate. These symptoms can last anywhere between 4 hours to a couple of weeks.

There are also certain lotions available commercially that will relieve the pain and discomfort of a jellyfish sting. Most of these cures, only relieve the symptoms and soothe the pain, and the effects of the venom takes its natural course and then subsides.

Find jellyfish sting protection and relief products on Ebay (best price) or your local diving supply store.

Learn more about Jellyfish Stings and Jellyfish Safety

Learn more about Jellyfish, different Jellyfish Species, general Jellyfish Information, Jellyfish Pets and Jellyfish Safety

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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