There you are, happily splashing around in the ocean, when you notice something has set your leg on fire. As you frantically run back to the safety of the tourist-infested beach and away from the Kraken you must have angered in your fantastic two-piece, you realize that youâ€™ve been stung by a jellyfish. So what do you do?
Despite what Friends may have taught you, having a close friend urinate on your sting may not actually help. In fact, you may be lucky to only be suffering a lightning-burn sensation on your leg! Dr. Nicholas Ward of the University of California- San Diego recently said in a press release that certain treatments, such as urination, may â€œactually make the pain worse with certain species of jellyfish.â€
Studying species of jellyfish may not be your hobby, however; how do you know how to proceed into the blissful land of relief when everything television has taught you is wrong?’
Unfortunately, there are very few solid answers on jellyfish-sting relief. Most is speculation based on a variety of different types of jellyfish: it may be too late now, but researching the area you plan to visit to discover what dangers are there is definitely recommended. While youâ€™re standing on the beach in pain, however, itâ€™s a different story. Weâ€™ve taken the most wide-spread theories on the sweet idea of jellyfish relief, and compiled them for you:
- First, if you donâ€™t know the type of jellyfish, you may do a teensy bit of research about the area and what types are common. Likewise, youâ€™ll need to contact the closest medical professional, especially if youâ€™re symptoms begin to exceed minor stinging. Other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and fever, and require immediate medical attention.
If your beach does not have a lifeguard or someone prepared to provide treatment, youâ€™ll need to call an ambulance. Most stings in North America can be easily treated on the beach and will only be severe with allergic reactions; other places, such as Australia, however, have deadlier jellyfish that have required beaches with antivenom on-hand. Crikey!
- If your symptoms donâ€™t exceed the typical burn and irritated sensations, grab some saltwater to wash the area. Whatever you do, avoid freshwaterâ€”it can actually make the burn worse. Saltwater works effectively because it doesnâ€™t affect the balance of solutes to set off the stinging sensation. Itâ€™s also important to remove any stingers gentlyâ€”such as with the edge of a credit card.
Be prepared for a little discomfortâ€”while washing the area and removing the stingers will help, pain can last for up to twenty-four hours following a sting. Typically, the pain peaks within the first five minutes of being stung, and slowly dissipates. If home treatment doesnâ€™t provide much relief and symptoms start to worsen, youâ€™ll want to visit a medical professional.
Other treatment options are speculated: hot water, vinegar, meat tenderizer, and baking soda are just a few. Treatment using these methods have not been proven or disproven to help, as it depends largely on the species of jellyfish. Why urinate on yourself if you donâ€™t have to? Leave it up to time to heal your sting, and while youâ€™re waiting for the pain to subside, think of a really cool story to tell your friends about your escape from the vicious man-eating Kraken.