Imagine a scenario where you are on a pristine beach enjoying a swim in your favourite bathing suit and you feel a sharp pain on your thigh. All of sudden you have a jellyfish sting. Individuals who swim along the ocean might feel a jellyfish sting without warning. Stings from the box jellyfish require immediate medical care.
The tentacles of jellyfish are still capable of delivering stings even if they have been ripped from the body of the creature. The tentacles of jellyfish and their nematocyst that are still on the skin of the individual are capable of stinging the rescuer if his/her bare skin is exposed.
Close look on a jellyfish sting
A jellyfish sting is due to the nematocyst that are found on the long tentacles that trail behind the creature and even on the bell itself in some species. The cells inject a venom that is protein-based in nature. When it comes to dangerous reactions to a jellyfish sting, there is a risk for a severe reaction. Nevertheless, some species have venom potent enough to kill even if an individual is not allergic.
Steps in managing a jellyfish sting
You have to rinse away the tentacles with hot water if possible. If heated water is not on hand, you can utilize salt water instead. The fresh water can worsen the stinging sensation.
One treatment option that is readily found in the kitchen is plain white distilled vinegar. Despite the controversy in the past years and issues if it actually works, it is still used. It is recommended for box jellyfish stings.
There is also one home remedy that recommends peeing on the sting. Urine might not probably take effect on a jellyfish sting but some have testified relief from pain, but remember that urine will not always have sufficient acid to counteract the venom.
Plucking the tentacles
You have to strip off any leftover tentacles using a gloved hand, shell, stick or tweezers. Just be cautious not to remove them on your own or on your clothing. If bare hands are used, you might end up with stings on the fingers. If the tentacles are not removed, the individual is still being stung until the nematocyst are used up.
You have to submerge the sting site in hot water. Based on studies conducted, water over 122 degrees is highly effective. The universal rule is to instruct the individual to take a shower or submerge the sting using hot water possible. Simply work up the heat and take care not to burn the skin.
The best way to achieve the results is to follow these steps. Pain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be given to reduce the pain. In some cases, application of cold or heat can also help. The mild itchiness can be relieved with diphenhydramine but monitor for the indications of anaphylaxis such as the following:
- Flushed skin
- Shortness of breath