A jellyfish sting is extremely painful and for some, can be life threatening. Similar to bee stings, allergic reactions to jellyfish are possible and illness can result from extensive stings. Seek immediate medical attention if breathing becomes difficult.
Otherwise, there are a few natural remedies that can help to remove nematocysts (stinging cells) and relieve the pain.
On the spot care:
The healing process starts by neutralising the venom as soon as possible. This is done by pouring undiluted vinegar over the affected part, and waiting for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then you should carefully remove the nematocysts which are still embedded in the skin, using tweezers, clothing, towels, seaweed or anything else available. The venom gets neutralised by the acetic acid present in the vinegar. This process will only neutralise the venom which has not been injected yet from the stinging cells.
You can also scrape the tentacles off the skin with the help of a card. NOTE: Do not scrape them off before neutralising the venom, this could cause further stings.
- Do not touch tentacles with bare hands.
- Do not wash with freshwater or put sunscreen lotion on the area.
- Do not rub the wound or apply ice to it.
You can apply Aloe vera gel and tea tree oil to soothe the burning sensation and relieve the pain.
Clearly, the best thing would be to avoid jellyfish tentacles whenever possible.
Have you ever been stung by a jellyfish? How did you treat the affected area? Leave a comment and let me know!
Photo from here.