Jellyfish sting: what to do? Full Tutorial

Italian version 🇮🇹

Every summer, beaches and umbrellas are teeming with tales, legends and miraculous remedies to combat the Jellyfish sting.

✔ Point by point, we explain everything – absolutely everything – you REALLY need to know .

Does the jellyfish sting?

❌ No, “technically” the jellyfish doesn’t sting. It has got very small “suckers”, along the tentacles – ecnidocysts – that contain a substance, made up of three proteins.

Once in contact with the human skin, they trigger the reaction. This substance causes pain, itching, eritema and swelling the “affected” part. We usually say that the Jellyfish sting, only for simplicity.

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Red jellyfish in Italy

How long does the pain last?

The acute phase, lasts (average) 20/30 minutes.

Then, pain subsides and there is a phase of soreness and itching. The effect a jellyfish sting, varies from area of ​​the body, from person to person. It mostly depends on the individual susceptibility, the type of jellyfish and the intensity of the contact. In children, pain is harder than adults.

Jellyfish sting: what to do?

  • Rinse the affected area, several times, with sea water.
  • Gently dry it.
  • Cover it, with plenty of ASTRINGENT GEL (we repeat: a lot).
  • Stay in the shade.
  • Patient around 20/30 minutes.

What is this Astringent Gel? Where can I find it?

Always keep one in your bag. 

You can easily find it in the Pharmacy. The Astringent Gel – or aluminum chloride – blocks the spread of toxins and bacteria, soothes the itching sensation and dries blisters.

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Pink Jellyfish in Liguria

What if I have a “heavy” reaction?

In case of severe reactions – widespread skin reaction, nausea, vomiting, profuse sweating, headache, paleness, dizziness, disorientation and breathing difficulties – call immediately the medical, or go to the hospital.

What about pee, sand, ice, lemon, vinegar, stones, and credit cards. Are they okay?

❌ Absolutely not. They do the opposite. They make it worse.

Do not apply ammonia, urine, lemon, vinegar, or alcohol to the affected area.

This would lead to a significant worsening of the irritation, exacerbating the effects on the skin.
Do not rub or scratch the inflamed part. You could increase the release of toxins, from residual cnidocysts attached to the skin.

Do not apply ice. Ice increases the storage time of the liquid, released by the jellyfish on the skin.

✔ Can I take a shower?

NO. Taking a shower, after a jellyfish “sting” is a big mistake. If you take a fresh shower – due to the osmosis process – the salt water of the poison, will attract fresh water to itself. Poison will expand even more in your skin.

✔And after .. what I’ve to do?

Don’t be exposed to the sun. Put yourself in the shade, stay cool. The jellyfish sting might upset you a little, especially if it was intense. Stay calm and quite for few hours.

✔ What should I do in the next days?

If in the following days, blisters fill with pus, it means that the wound is infected. In this case, you need to put an antibiotic cream (ask your Doctor or at the Pharmacy).

If there is no pus, crusts will fall off, on their own, in about ten days.