Advice for jellyfish stings

Sierra BravoSierra Bravo Posts: 25 Greenhorn
Well, I've been lucky and never have been stung by a jellyfish but unfortunately my seven year old daughter today was hit on the inner thigh while snorkeling at the sand bar near Sands Cut. Poor kid was screaming like I've never heard her before. I've always been told that meat tenderizer does the trick so I've kept it on hand on the boat but I have to say it didn't seem to do a heck of a lot. Looking online I've read about vinegar and Sea Safe After Sting. Any advice on what works best?
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Replies

  • moceanmocean Posts: 18 Greenhorn
    Vinegar
  • Joe SnookJoe Snook Posts: 437 Deckhand
    I go with vinegar. I get stung alot especially surfing. Friday we had red bumps head to toe.
    southwest florida fishing guide in the beautiful 10k islands, everglades and more www.Joesnook.com
  • fish_stixfish_stix Posts: 1,250 Officer
    Household ammonia.
  • moceanmocean Posts: 18 Greenhorn
    What will "household ammonia " do for jellyfish stings on the beach?
  • Sick DaySick Day Posts: 260 Deckhand
    I got some good stings yesterday and tried vinager. It was better than nothing, but not instant relief. Hopefully those moon jellies go back where they came from!
  • RootbeerRootbeer Posts: 128 Officer
    We had a friend on our freediving trip Saturday and he is only 14 and he got stung all over eventhough he wore a full coverage rashguard wetsuit but it went through the rash guard and got him all over his back and belly and neck and face.... I poured white vinegar all over the areas that were red and he was making the rest of the guys hungry for salt and vinegar chips LOL but he said it worked pretty quickly and I also rubbed his skin with my rough hand gloves on his back and neck just in case to take any stingers that might have been stuck to his skin as I rubbed on the vinegar.... He said it helped....

    I haven't had to use it on myself because I guess I've built a tolerance for the stings and I just rub the area that hurts and soon the pain stops for me when I'm in the water... But I keep the vinegar for my friends that get stung so far three people have used it and say the white vinegar works...
  • Reel UmReel Um Posts: 260 Officer
    Vinegar will relieve the sting but doesn't make it go away instantly. I do not know anything that makes it go away completely.
  • monoxidemonoxide Posts: 1,094 Officer
    i thought you were supposed to pee on jellyfish stings. but vinegar works
    ted.gif
    ted.gif
  • TailHunterTailHunter Posts: 333 Deckhand
    [powdered meat tenderizer, ammonia, vinegar, pee, hot water, etc] anything that breaks down proteins will remove/disable the stingers. The pain once the stingers have already fired won't be reduced by any of the surface treatments
    - Travis

    Shut Up and Fish

    "Common sense isn't as common as commonly thought." Me
    "The unprepared man goes into the game prepared to lose." Me
  • sharkatak1089sharkatak1089 Posts: 6,407 Officer
    peeing works, vinegar works, ammonia works.

    When I went to Ecuador last summer, the jellys were pretty relentless. we stayed for 3 weeks and on day 2 i got destroyed. i was walking up the beach and heard someone yelling at me. it was a local guy i'd been surfing near all day. he went on to try to explain (in spanish) what to do for my stings. finally, he grabbed a handful of sand and began grinding it over the stings on my ribcage. hurt like a **** at first, but I'm telling you...the pain went away QUICCCCKK.
    I am choice.
    Please don't try to interject with reason, it only further confuses the matter.
  • caldnsikcaldnsik Posts: 95 Deckhand
    Right Guard spray deoderant. Old trick, works very well. And you smell better too!
    "Beer is not a matter of life or death, It is much more important than that!!!"
  • Mig888Mig888 Posts: 77 Greenhorn
    Rootbeer wrote: »
    We had a friend on our freediving trip Saturday and he is only 14 and he got stung all over eventhough he wore a full coverage rashguard wetsuit but it went through the rash guard and got him all over his back and belly and neck and face.... I poured white vinegar all over the areas that were red and he was making the rest of the guys hungry for salt and vinegar chips LOL but he said it worked pretty quickly and I also rubbed his skin with my rough hand gloves on his back and neck just in case to take any stingers that might have been stuck to his skin as I rubbed on the vinegar.... He said it helped....

    I haven't had to use it on myself because I guess I've built a tolerance for the stings and I just rub the area that hurts and soon the pain stops for me when I'm in the water... But I keep the vinegar for my friends that get stung so far three people have used it and say the white vinegar works...

    Wow, I did not think the sting would go thru a full body rash guard. I guess I will have to be more careful.
  • sharkatak1089sharkatak1089 Posts: 6,407 Officer
    caldnsik wrote: »
    Right Guard spray deoderant. Old trick, works very well. And you smell better too!
    any specific flavor?
    I am choice.
    Please don't try to interject with reason, it only further confuses the matter.
  • Capt_GerryCapt_Gerry Posts: 173 Officer
    Most of the treatments people use really doesn’t work. The problem is that once you’re stung the damage is done and not much can be done for the pain and irritation except for over the counter anti itch treatments and pain relievers. Treatment usually involves preventing further issues and infections. The idea is to prevent any further stings that my reside on your skin, clothing ect.........

    These tentacles are covered with nematocysts that are filled with protein based toxin. The firing mechanisms once triggered shoot a hallow tube like structure with barbs into its victim. Think of it like a spear gun with a barbed hallow tip. Any leftover nematocysts that haven't fired will do so if you irritate it.........such as peeing on it, rinsing with fresh water or pouring other liquids other than seawater which it is use to being submerged in. I would recommend rinsing with seawater first to make sure all the stinging cells are off. Using saltwater will help in not irritating the cells further therefore not getting lit up again.

    One treatment I have found that helps is meat tenderizer. Not just any will work. Since the toxin is protein based we need to use a meat tenderizer that breaks down the proteins in meat. You need to look for a quality meat tenderizer with the main ingredient being "papain". If you find one with this in it as the main ingredient you might find relief.

    On a personal note I am currently suffering from both my left and right hands absolutely being lit up by toxins. :willynilly I used papain right away and it helped to a degree. The relief is temporary but is noticeable. As with all remedies it's not 100%.
    Changin' Latitudes
  • dave sdave s Posts: 67 Greenhorn
    I use this product called Sting Away. It's all natural and works well on jellyfish stings, insect bites, plant rashs, etc. It uses natural enzymes to break down the toxins.
    I got it at a Walgreen's near the beach and you can order it online at LeisurePro dive catalog. http://www.leisurepro.com/Catalog.aspx?op=ItemDisplay&ProductID=AQUSA4&Page=1&Term=stingaway&Hit=1

    Also found it at Marine sports Mfg.
    http://www.marinesportsmfg.com/index.html
  • PhlypperPhlypper Posts: 68 Greenhorn
    When we go scalloping, we carry a spray bottle with vinegar in it specifically for jellyfish. This summer, we used it 7 times. 4 times on kids under 5. Once on a dumb dad (me), and once on a scallop that was immediately eaten (tasted better without the vinegar). In all the cases, it was effective in easing some of the pain, to the point that the kids went back into the water. Only in the dumb dad case -- I wanted to show the kids a jellyfish, so I netted one, and as I was re-boarding, the net fell on my head and shoulders -- did we have to apply Emla/lidocaine cream.

    I agree with Capt Jerry that the after initial depolarization/firing of the nematocysts, the only thing any acid will do is prevent subsequent stinging of nematocysts that have not already injected the toxins. Based on my experience, there are quite a few of those nematocysts that will later fire, and applying the vinegar will prevent further pain.
  • Lobstercatcher229Lobstercatcher229 Posts: 4,843 Captain
    anyone have any luck with liquid Benadryl?
  • TailHunterTailHunter Posts: 333 Deckhand
    anyone have any luck with liquid Benadryl?

    benedryl doesn't do anything for Jellyfish stings unless you are having an allergic reaction.
    - Travis

    Shut Up and Fish

    "Common sense isn't as common as commonly thought." Me
    "The unprepared man goes into the game prepared to lose." Me
  • capciofficapcioffi Posts: 808 Officer
    4oz of Tequila taken immediately. If you can think of anything after that, it will only be "where's the lime and chaser". Worked for me.
  • Captain AJCaptain AJ Posts: 33 Deckhand
    When I was a kid I was fishing off Daytona on a party boat, Al Kline's Snow White, and saw a Man O' War gas bag floating over my line. I reeled in and and a neon purple ribbon came up with the line, wrapped around the reel and, subsequently, my 12yo hand. The pain was intense as the mate poured vinegar over my hand. He explained the vinegar wouldn't stop the hurt - he was right!, but that it would keep it from getting worse. I never forgot that. I have encountered many jellyfish stings over the subsequent 35 years and always have a little vinegar on board.
    “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.”
    — Henry David Thoreau
  • FletchFletch Merritt Island, FLPosts: 2,303 Moderator
    • Flush with seawater (never use fresh water) to remove any loose tentacles
    • Pick remaining off with a gloved hand or tweezers
    • Shave the area with a razor if you have one
    • Vinegar works okay but is typically reserved for Box jellies. NEVER put vinegar on a portugese man-o-war sting (the neon purple ribbon in the post above). Although they look similar, a PMW is not really a true jellyfish. It's a hydroid (colony) and vinegar will cause it to fire any unfired nematocysts.
    • Soak in HOT water for 30-90 minutes.

    Hot water (rather heat) is your friend on stinging organisms. This works for 99 percent of ocean critters that sting. 104 deg F is the point at which most of these proteins begin to break down. 110-112 deg F water is recommended. Essentially, as hot as you can stand without burning yourself. Engine exhaust is a quick and easy source of hot water. You can use chemical heat packs if you don't have access to hot water.
    "Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent, I'll probably waste..."
    -- Tug McGraw on getting a raise

    Get Down Fishing Charters - Port Canaveral, Florida
  • Captain AJCaptain AJ Posts: 33 Deckhand
    I did not know that. It was a long time ago, but I remember the vinegar feeling like a cup full of bee stings being poured over my hand. That is completely on line with what you posted above. I learned something new today!
    “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.”
    — Henry David Thoreau
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 8,559 Admiral
    Fletch wrote: »
    • Flush with seawater (never use fresh water) to remove any loose tentacles
    • Pick remaining off with a gloved hand or tweezers
    • Shave the area with a razor if you have one
    • Vinegar works okay but is typically reserved for Box jellies. NEVER put vinegar on a portugese man-o-war sting (the neon purple ribbon in the post above). Although they look similar, a PMW is not really a true jellyfish. It's a hydroid (colony) and vinegar will cause it to fire any unfired nematocysts.
    • Soak in HOT water for 30-90 minutes.

    Hot water (rather heat) is your friend on stinging organisms. This works for 99 percent of ocean critters that sting. 104 deg F is the point at which most of these proteins begin to break down. 110-112 deg F water is recommended. Essentially, as hot as you can stand without burning yourself. Engine exhaust is a quick and easy source of hot water. You can use chemical heat packs if you don't have access to hot water.

    I had heard on here that heat was the way to go as well. Breaking down the proteins with hot water if you can stand it. not sure how hot of water a 7yr old can stand though.
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • FletchFletch Merritt Island, FLPosts: 2,303 Moderator
    I had heard on here that heat was the way to go as well. Breaking down the proteins with hot water if you can stand it. not sure how hot of water a 7yr old can stand though.

    Test on an uninjured body part to ensure the victim can gauge the pain of the hot water appropriately. I have been stung by a box jelly that is "common" in the Caribbean and up the east coast of Florida to the Carolinas. Simplest way to describe it is 240 volts that won't go away. Hot water had the pain under control within minutes. IT WORKS!
    "Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent, I'll probably waste..."
    -- Tug McGraw on getting a raise

    Get Down Fishing Charters - Port Canaveral, Florida
  • ncdeadncdead Posts: 536 Officer
    Not to go off topic but do the same recommendations go for stingrays? I saw this kid screaming bloody murder after he stepped on one. I've heard other stories about people getting hit by them and going into shock and having to make a trip the hospital. I consider myself lucky that I never stepped on one after years of wading barefooted.
  • FletchFletch Merritt Island, FLPosts: 2,303 Moderator
    Yes. It should work to break down the toxins injected by the ray's barb. Having said that, I've never been popped by a ray so I can't give first hand input. I have heard that sting ray envenomations can be downright horrible. There's a puncture wound to consider as well as simply breaking down the toxin with heat.

    Steve Irwin probably would have lived had he not yanked the barb out of his heart. In fact, there was an elderly gentleman down in the Palm Beach, Florida area that suffered an almost identical puncture from a spotted eagle ray a few years back. He left the barb in place (it had pierced his heart - same as Steve Irwin) and he survived.
    "Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent, I'll probably waste..."
    -- Tug McGraw on getting a raise

    Get Down Fishing Charters - Port Canaveral, Florida
  • EAlmondEAlmond Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    I keep a spray bottle filled with vinegar on my boat at all times. When stung, flush/spray with vinegar ... then take disposable razor and shave the area where you were stung...this will remove any small stinging cells that you cant see with the naked eye....re-apply the vinegar.
    For more serious venomous stings immersing the area in hot water will also reduce the pain. Hot water can be obtained quickly by disconnecting your outboard's flushing hook up...the ocean water will heat up as it cools your power head and give you plenty of hot water. (Or using a JetBoil type of product)

    Just my $0.02 learned from being a rescue diver, master diver, and DAN certified diving emergency care provider.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 8,559 Admiral
    I want to know if the heat will work on yellow fly bites. Twice in the past week i've gotten bitten by those little [email protected] and they hurt like heck. I forgot about the heat until i read this thread. Might try tonight.
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • NSB PhotogNSB Photog Posts: 474 Deckhand
    Soaking in hot water is your best bet.

    Additionally, whenever I get stung I grab a handful of sand and scrub the area. Helps remove any remaining particles and for some reason the act of maniacally scrubbing is somewhat soothing.
  • Gary SGary S Posts: 770 Officer
    Had a friend step on a sting ray one night. You do not want to put your foot in a cooler of ice. Found out later the hot water out of the pee tube on the motor would have been a lot better.
    I got a single pac of a sting neutralizer at a dive shop years ago that worked great. Can't remember what it was called.
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