On a recent trip to the beach with my children and nephews, we had an encounter with a jelly fish. I should have known it would be an eventful day when another beach goer told me to watch out for the jelly fish before we even left the parking lot.
Jelly fish stings usually come from the small, translucent, baggy-looking aurelia aurita, the most common species of jellyfish. Although the tentacles of most jellyfish contain venom, a natural defense mechanism, most stings are not severe.
Additionally, a sting from a common jellyfish can usually be treated at home. Lavender oil, vinegar and even urine are all well known at-home treatments for the stings. All of these methods involve reducing the swelling of the infected site or drying up the wound to prevent further infection.
Top 10 Ways To Treat Jellyfish Stings At Home
• Vinegar. Vinegar is a well known treatment for many minor boo boos, including jellyfish stings. High in acetic acid, vinegar helps slow or completely stop the venom from spreading in the body. Simply dab some on the affected area and allow to sit. If inflammation continues, dab more until swelling and pain are reduced. Some say vinegar could actually encourage the spread of the jelly fish venom, but it’s been proven very effective for treating stings over time.
• Baking soda. If you do not have any vinegar handy, grab the baking soda. It provides the same benefits as vinegar; however, baking soda helps remove any tentacles that may still be attached to you. It also helps dry up the infected area.
• Sea salt. Like baking soda, a solution of water and salt could provide the abrasion needed to remove any left over stingers. Sea salt helps deactivate this stingers from releasing more venom.
• Oatmeal. Treat yourself to a warm breakfast while fighting jellyfish! The popular breakfast choice is know for being an excellent smoothing facial mask. A paste of oatmeal could help reduced the redness and burn from a sting, while keeping skin tone even.
• Tea Tree Oil. This popular oil is used in hair care, skin care, health care and probably every other care. Tea tree oil is anti-septic and astringent in nature. Just like any other minor wound, tea tree oil can help reduce the pain and cleanse the area quite well.
• Lemon. Lemons are very acidic and ideal for anti-bacterial purposes. Use lemon juice to help dry the open wounds from the stings. Because of its acidity, lemon juice could cause additional burning and stinging, but this sensation is only temporary.
• Rubbing Alcohol. Alcohol is a quick treatment for a jellyfish sting. It may not reduce swelling but could be more effective than anything else in cleaning the wound from bacteria. If you have no rubbing alcohol at home, try vodka.
• Ice. If your sting resulted in more swelling than broken skin, a patch of ice would help numb the pain and reduce inflammation.
• Lavender oil. I’ve read on many homeopathic websites that lavender oil is used to soothe aches and sores. Jellyfish stings are no different. If you are working with lavender essential oil, it’s wise to dilute this oil with another oil before applying to the wound. Essential oil on infected skin could make things worse.
• Urine. I know what you’re thinking: there’s no way you’re gonna pee on yourself over a little burning! But hear me out! Urine holds acid which helps dry up a wound. In fact, it is the first thing many people recommended when asked about treating jellyfish stings!
Don’t let the fear of a jellyfish sting keep you from enjoying the beaches this summer. Of course, you’ll be wise to be aware of what’s in the water before taking the plunge. Fortunately, if you have contact with a common jellyfish, there are several methods to patch you up and get you back on the beach!