Are you wanting some light relief from our gloomy winters and planning a mini beach holiday to catch some sunny rays. Imagine the sun is shining and everything seems to be perfect. However your little dip in the sea can get cut short when a jellyfish gets too close and stings you on the ankle… What are the best tips to treat and reduce the pain of a jellyfish sting? Read on and you’ll find out!
What not to do
Don’t move the stung area or try and rinse it with clean water (which can burst the urticaria cells which haven’t burst), saliva or alcohol. Avoid rubbing or even touching the painful area and anything that might cause it to bleed. For this type of wound, it is not necessary to suck out the venom or place a tourniquet.
Step by step
1) Rinse the wound but not with urine!
We are always told you need to pee on a jellyfish sting. Apart from the fact that it is unpleasant and a tad complicated with everyone around you on the beach (who are already staring at you after hearing you cry out from the other side of the beach waving frantically), it can also cause infections. Rinse only with salted water, hot if possible, or a saline solution. If you have been stung on the chest or the head, chose the second option and contact a doctor as soon as possible.
2) After rinsing the sting remove the tentacles which are still attached with a pair of tweezers
3) Remove any pieces of the jellyfish.
Apply a handful of sand, flour or shaving foam onto the affected area so that the trapped fragments come loose. Leave to dry and then use something else solid to remove the rest. You could use a bank card or even a post card. Afterwards rinse the area for a half hour with warm salted water.
4) Calm the area with lavender essential oil
Dab the oil onto the affected area with a sterilised pad making sure not to rub the sting. You could also drip one or two drops of the oil straight on to the sting. Repeat this application 3 or 4 times in half an hour after the first application.
To relieve itchiness or pain, some people have with them an already prepare mixture in a tub: Fill the little tub 3/4 full of white vinegar and then add 3 tbs of bicarbonate of soda. Dab this mixture onto the affected area.
5) What to do next ?
Jellyfish stings should be treated like a burn. If it is not a serious sting you can regularly apply biafine. If it is a larger sting opt for a corticoid ointment and if there is a blister choose vaseline. Finally if it is itchy, antihistamines will help prevent you from scratching as it is probably an allergy.