How to neutralize jellyfish sting with vinegar
Swimming or playing watersports in the sea is a really fun activity to do. It makes your mind free and at relaxing with the wide atmosphere and the sound of the waves. But, what happens when you are having so much fun and you suddenly a jellyfish sting you? Not to worry, here, we will teach you more about jellyfish sting and how to treat it when it happens.
First of all, how would you know if you are stung by a jellyfish? If you feel really sharp pain like a certain part of your body is feeling like it is on fire, which is one of the symptoms of being stung. The first thing to do when you or someone else got stung is to maintain your composure and not to panic during that period. DO NOT wipe the jellyfish’s tentacles away and rub the area that got stung as it would only cause more pain as the jellyfish could inject more poison into you. From the toxin injected into you, you might suffer either an immediate allergic reaction, a delayed allergic reaction, or a toxic reaction.
Steps to Stop Jellyfish Venom from Spreading
So, when you or another person got stung by a jellyfish, you have to stop the remaining nematocyst from injecting more poison into the body. To do this, use a 4-6 percent of acetic acid, or a common product which is vinegar. The area affected is soaked for a minimum of 30 seconds but it is recommended that you soak it for 30 minutes. The usage of alcohol, urine or fresh water is not recommended as it would cause more toxins to be given out from the tentacles. Once the nematocysts have been inactivated by the vinegar, you can now remove the tentacles. Keep in mind, when you are removing the tentacles, it is best to remove it using tweezers or something that you could use to grab it and have a distance from your hand to the tentacles. This is because the live nematocyst can still sting thru gloves so it is better to keep the distance. After removing all the tentacles, check if there are any signs of allergic reaction such as, difficulty in breathing and swallowing, swelling, or severe pain. If there are signs of allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately to prevent it from worsening.
The usage of vinegar to neutralize a jellyfish sting is to minimize the pain and discomfort after the sting and furthermore, help to stop the delivery of the jellyfish venom. Vinegar is an easy to get product and should be in everyone bag or first aid kit if you are planning to have fun in the sea. This could also help save yours or the lives of others as we wouldn’t know what kind of jellyfish that has stung us. If a highly toxic venom jellyfish was to be the one that stung us, the vinegar could be the one that separates life from death.
Jellyfish sting can cause a lot of problems to us. Toxins from a jellyfish sting can kill localized skin cells and release systemic toxins. Depending on the type of jellyfish, some are very dangerous and requires anti-venom injection if you got stung. If a jellyfish sting you before, the area of which you got stung should be checked for a few weeks in case there are infections or delayed allergic reaction. If vinegar isn’t available at the time, the use of baking soda could also neutralize the sting cells. If needed, you could also use salt water as a rinsing agent.
Prevention is Better than Cure
Therefore, bring some vinegar with you if you are planning to go to the sea as we would never know what might happen there. Be safe and remember the simple steps on handling a jellyfish sting.