How to Handle a Jellyfish Sting

transparent box jellyfish floating

Popular belief dictates that the best way to treat a jellyfish sting is to urinate on it. However, doctors say that the remedy can, in fact, create more problems than it solves, the recipients of the impromptu cure being at risk of infection.

Researchers Tested all Home Remedies for Jellyfish Stings

A team of scientists decided to test the efficiency of all popular home remedies for jellyfish stings, hence establishing the best and worst immediate solutions for the problem. From vinegar, to alcohol, to pee, here are the most popular ways to deal with a jellyfish bite as explained by scientists.

Urinating on the Jellyfish

Almost all beachgoers know that in the case of a jellyfish sting, the individual’s best chance of thwarting the pain is to ask somebody to pee on the animal, causing it to loosen its grip. However, scientists believe that the act is not as efficient as one might think, especially since the cure could go both ways.

According to Cubozoan Sting-Site Seawater Rinse, Scraping, and Ice Can Increase Venom Load: Upending Current First Aid Recommendations, peeing on a jellyfish sting can actually cause the animal to send more nematocysts into the skin, leading to an increased pain level.

Urine is considered efficient because it contains urea, a substance which determines the animal to loosen its grip. Unfortunately, pee is too diluted for the solution to work, the end effect of the action translating into a high probability of intense pain mixed with deep humiliation.

Prying the Jellyfish from the Affected Limb

Pressure, along with alcohol, is also a catalyst for nematocyst activation. This means that any forceful attempt to remove the animal can only end in more pain and a tighter grip. Pouring alcohol on the jellyfish has the same outcome as trying to scrape it away.

Washing the tentacles also a bad idea as the animal can always latch onto another piece of skin, causing extensive damage.

Vinegar Is the Most Efficient

Among all the remedies that were tested by the team, vinegar proved to be the most effective.  Apart from preventing the release of additional nematocysts, the substance also acts as a mild disinfectant. After pouring vinegar on the affected area, the tentacles can be slowly removed with tweezers.

When the jellyfish is completely removed, heat should be applied to the wound as it slows down the distribution of venom, minimizing damage.

No matter how efficient a home remedy might be, researchers advise individuals to always seek medical attention when being stung by a jellyfish as different species have different venom concentrations.

Image Source: Wikipedia

Authors
Top