What To Do If You Get Stung by a Jellyfish

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Getting Stung by Jellyfish 

There’s nothing quite like the relaxation of floating in the ocean. That is until you get stung by a jellyfish of course. Pain, redness, itching, numbness, and tingling. If you’ve gotten stung by a jellyfish before, you know the discomfort and pain that I’m referring to. 

In some cases, jellyfish stings can be life-threatening, and if not treated quickly, they can even lead to death. 

Approximately 150 million people are stung by jellyfish each year, and 100 of those people die from poisonous stings, such as the box jellyfish. But rest assured, deadly jellyfish aren’t that common and they don’t float in surface-level waters by the shore. Fortunately, most jellyfish stings don’t require emergency or medical care. But it’s important to learn the signs that can help you determine whether or not you need medical attention. And while most stings may not be life-threatening, you could unknowingly be allergic to one. 

With all of the ridiculous myths surfacing the internet, it can be difficult to know exactly what to do when facing a jellyfish sting. But armed with knowledge about jellyfish stings, what to do when you’ve been stung, and tips on how to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you, your next beach visit will be a lot less stressful. 

jellyfish sting rash

Jellyfish Myths 

Do you remember the iconic beach scene in Friends where Chandler pees on Monica’s leg after getting stung by a jellyfish? For years, I thought that getting stung by a jellyfish meant I had to get peed on. The reality of it is, that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t alleviate pain and can actually worsen it. Urinating on a jellyfish sting has become one of the most common and talked about myths, and it stems from the idea that the ammonia and urea in urine can ultimately neutralize the burning sensation. Scientists have discovered that there’s too much water in urine for the diluted ammonia and urea to be effective. Rest assured, you do not need to get peed on when stung by a jellyfish! 

Another “trick” surfacing the internet is drying out an oozy jellyfish sting in the warm sun may sound like a good idea, but, it does more harm than good. Drying a jellyfish sting in the sun is another common myth surfacing the internet that remains myth. Laying out in the sun may sound like the best distraction, but it can cause more irritation to the area creating more swelling and infection. It leaves the affected area very sensitive and the harsh sun can prolong the recovery of your sting as well as increase pain and redness. 

With these myths crowding the internet, it’s not easy to know what to follow. Especially if you’ve just been stung and you’re desperate to find a solution on the internet with little time to do your research. Luckily, I have done the research and found the most helpful and efficient ways to treat a jellyfish sting. So, let’s get into what you should do to help a jellyfish sting, according to respected scientists and doctors. 

mild Jellyfish sting

Treating a Jellyfish Sting 

Before treating a jellyfish sting, you need to determine whether or not the sting requires medical care. If it’s a common jellyfish sting, here are a few things you can do to alleviate pain and avoid infection or inflammation: 

Rinse the area with sea water.

Rinsing a sting with seawater may prevent stingers from releasing more venom

Pluck the visible tentacles

Jellyfish tentacles are fine-like needles. If they’re visible to the eye, you can carefully tweeze them out of your skin. If you can’t see any, don’t go digging in your skin. 

Apply a cream

Once the area is clean, you can apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to reduce redness and inflammation. 

Apply a cold or warm compress

Compresses can help with pain as well as inflammation. Be careful to not put a compress directly on the skin, as this could irritate the skin even more. You can wrap the compress in a clean shirt or cloth and put it against your skin on the area. 

Why Do Jellyfish Sting You 

According to BBC Future, jellyfish sting as a defense mechanism. Jellyfish don’t target humans. Ultimately, jellyfish swim across the shore on surface level waters hunting for plankton and tiny organisms that drift along the water. So when a jellyfish stings you, it’s because you’ve gotten in their way. Jellyfish sting to protect themselves and eat, releasing a harmful venom that can be deadly. But it’s never the intention of a jellyfish. There are roughly 200 jellyfish species known, ranging from local jellyfish that aren’t harmful to those that are deadly – but even the deadliest ones to crave humans. Jellyfish don’t look at us as the enemy, so we shouldn’t either.

how long do Jellyfish sting last

Ensure Your Safety 

Although jellyfish stings can be very unpleasant, most are not harmful. But what about the ones that are? And what if you’re unknowingly allergic to a jellyfish sting? Thankfully, there are things you can do to help yourself in such situations. 

FOUND ME offers water-proof bracelets with QR codes on them, when scanned, a first responder, medic, or lifeguard can access your medical information. It’s up to you if you would like to set your bracelet to permission required from yourself, emergency contact, or family member – giving you the option to give as much confidentiality to you information as you are comfortable with. 

The medical bracelet contains information about you from your blood type, listed allergies, whether you’re diabetic or not, to height and weight and everything you think is important to be known about you during an emergency that someone helping you may need to know. 

The FOUND ME bracelets can be extremely helpful, especially in cases of emergency where time matters. To learn more about FOUND ME and everything it has to offer, visit FOUND ME

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