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Old recommendations for treatment of jellyfish stings worsens the stings

Harold Mandel's picture
Jellyfish sting treatment

Researchers say present jellyfish sting recommendations may worsen stings. They have found vinegar and heat along with Sting No More Spray and Cream works best to treat jellyfish stings.


Jellyfish stings can ruin a nice day at the beach. Following old recommendations to treat painful jellyfish stings seems to only make things worse. Effective new recommendations for the treatment of these stings have been made by researchers.

Jellyfish stings can be worsened by the current recommendations for treatment

University of Hawaii News reports jellyfish stings can be worsened by the current recommendations for treatment. There's no doubt about it that a jellyfish sting is a fast way to ruin a sunny fun beach day. Acting quickly with the most effective treatment interventions can help lessen the pain from this and may even save lives.

University of Hawaii at Manoa researchers have investigated the effects of commonly recommended first aid interventions for jellyfish stings. They found that some of the most commonly suggested interventions actually worsens the stings.

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Angel Yanagihara, the lead author of the paper and assistant research professor at the UH Manoa Pacific Biosciences Research Center and John A. Burns School of Medicine, said her research team checked out the effectiveness of commonly suggested practices of rinsing the sting site with seawater, scraping away tentacles and using ice on the jellyfish sting site. It was discovered these interventions actually worsen things by increasing the amount of venom injected into the person.

Box jellies are responsible for more deaths a year than sharks

This is a very serious matter in view of how dangerous jellyfish stings can be. Box jellies are actually among the most deadly animals in the oceans. They are responsible for more deaths a year than sharks. Severe pain and terrible scars may result from even mild stings from these jellyfish.

Rinsing with vinegar, plucking the tentacles off with tweezers, heat and Sting No More Spray and Cream are good treatments

The researchers discovered that rinsing with vinegar or even just plucking the tentacles off with tweezers led to less injection of venom. Also application of heat actively lessened the venom activity. Applying ice to the sting site instead enhanced the activity of the venom. The researchers also found that a combination of Sting No More Spray and Cream was very effective for treatment of jellyfish stings. This venom inhibiting product duo was developed by Yanagihara along with funding from Hawaii Community Foundation, National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.

The researchers are deeply concerned about a lot of bad advice which is available online for the treatment of jellyfish stings. It is their hope these new findings will encourage online medical sites, government agencies, and the medical community in general to re-evaluate the advice which they give for the treatment of jellyfish stings.

The journal Toxins has published this study. Jellyfish are very dangerous sea creatures. Their stings are painful and can be deadly. Recent research does not support scraping or seawater rinsing of jellyfish stings as being good treatment. In fact this just makes things worse. Effective treatment including rinsing with vinegar, plucking the tentacles off with tweezers, applying heat and Sting No More Spray and Cream can help lessen the severity of pain from jellyfish stings and in some instances may even help save lives.