They are the nightmare of all bathers. Especially in recent years since several sightings have been recorded in the Mediterranean. But there is a way to defend ourselves when we come into contact with these fascinating little creatures. The important thing is not to panic and follow a series of precautions that will allow us to turn off the symptoms in a short time. Here’s how to do it. In case of a jellyfish sting: first, don’t be scared
The first thing you need to do is not to get scared and, consequently, not to make rash movements. If the jellyfish is still nearby, it may come in contact with your skin again and cause you pain and irritation. It should be remembered, in fact, that jellyfish do not sting but are equipped with tentacles that contain small stinging organs: the cnidocysts. Inside there is poison that jellyfish use to defend themselves from predators and paralyze them. We are not paralyzed but, at the slightest contact, the poison is released into our skin.
- Did you know…
Researchers from the University of Hawaii recently published a study in the Toxins journal that found vinegar to be a useful remedy in case of contact with a jellyfish. It seems that the natural solution turns off the cells that have stuck to our skin. The trick, however, seems to work above all with Pacific jellyfish and a little less with our own ones.
Rinse the area affected by the jellyfish sting
Another thing to do immediately is to rinse the affected area very well. In doing so, however, you must be careful to use only and exclusively salt water. The sweet one, in fact, favors the breaking of the stinging structures – the nematocysts – that remain on our skin. Against jellyfish sting, credit card or tweezers
Get a credit card – even a gym card, so to speak – to remove nematocysts. But you have to use it with extreme care so as not to risk sending them even deeper. Alternatively, you can use small tweezers to extract them. See also: Insects, jellyfish, spider fish – here’s what to do in case of stings or bitesJellyfish sting: apply the right gel
When you are at the sea, especially if you are in a location at risk of jellyfish, we recommend that you always keep a 5% aluminum chloride gel on hand. It performs an immediate anti-itch action by blocking the spread of toxins. It is a product readily available in pharmacies which, among other things, is also useful for mosquito bites. Failing that, cortisone ointments can also be used which, however, have a lesser effect and much less quickly. Indeed, it is likely that by the time of the effect, the symptom has already passed naturally.
Jellyfish If your jellyfish sting symptoms are severe, go to the emergency room
In principle, there is no need to go to the emergency room. However, if the symptoms are severe and you also have dizziness, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating, skin paleness and mental confusion, it is mandatory to call the emergency room: it could be anaphylactic shock. What you should never do in case of a jellyfish sting
- Do not scratch even if you have a mild itchy sensation: if you do, you could break the nematocysts, releasing more venom.
- Do not apply hot sand: it is true that the poison is thermolabile but for it to take effect, temperatures around 50 degrees must be reached. If you apply the sand so hot on the affected area you risk a burn.
- Do not use ice: due to the fact that the poison is sensitive to high temperatures, if you apply ice you would leave it active much longer
- Do not use antihistamines: like cortisone, the antihistamine also takes too long to be active. The effect would begin when the symptoms have already subsided
- Do not get too much sun: cover the affected area for a few days because the affected area is more prone to hyperpigmentation. Sunscreens with very high protection filters are also fine.
Jellyfish stings: 10 things to do immediately