JellyFish Facts

Jellyfish Sting Cures

Jellyfish Sting Cures picture

Jellyfish Sting Cures

The jellyfish is a fascinating creature and is very delicate, and contains more than 95% water. The bell-shaped body has tentacles hanging from its perimeter and these have numerous stinging cells called nematocysts. The jellyfish is able to gather its food by stinging its prey and immobilizing it. Almost all jellyfish do not have a brain, and their behaviour is ruled by reactions to certain stimuli. Whenever any life form comes in contact with the jellyfish, it extends the tentacles and releases the stinger cells. These cells are like barbs and they go and embed themselves on the skin, and then the venom gets released.

Many people get stung by the jellyfish, as they inadvertently brush past its body while swimming. The pain from most jellyfish stings is intense and depending on its toxicity, it might even put a person into a coma or cause death. As the venom of the jellyfish is alkali based, it can be neutralised by the application of an acid. One of the most common jellyfish sting cures is to pour liberal amounts of vinegar on the affected areas. The area should not be rubbed in any way and the vinegar has to be poured, as rubbing might cause further stinging from the nematocysts. If one can see any of the stinger cells they should be removed by tweezers or a towel, and should not be handled by bare fingers as they can still sting. These barbs can also be scrapped off the skin by a card or a blunt knife.

Stings to the eye can be treated by flushing the eye with water, and if the sting is on the mouth the vinegar has to be diluted by at least three parts water. All other areas of the body can be treated with undiluted vinegar and a sting should never be rinsed with fresh water, unless it is on the eye. Salt water is the best for rinsing and when vinegar is not immediately available, a clump of sand can be put on the affected part. People have also used baking soda and meat tenderizer, and these substances are also known to neutralise the venom and bring down the pain.

Application of heat to the affected part has also worked well in many cases in neutralising the venom and bringing down the pain. This is done after the tentacles and stinger cells are carefully removed from the skin. Bathing the area in water which is as hot as you can stand without burning yourself is considered very helpful. There is a recorded event where lifeguards have held a hair drier on its highest setting, over the stung skin and the person found instant relief from the pain.

People have tried many different cures and have achieved different levels of success. There are also many myths about jellyfish sting cures like urinating on the affected part or applying alcohol. These things do not work and treating with urine has been known to cause more pain in the stung area.

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

To find out how to treat jellyfish stings check out our Jellyfish Sting Treatment Section.

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

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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