Tuesday,23 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1351, (6 - 12 July 2017)
Tuesday,23 April, 2019
Issue 1351, (6 - 12 July 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Treating jellyfish stings

Let’s talk about better living! Our interactive family corner aims to expand our lifestyle horizons with practical little pearls of wisdom from the editor and input from our readers

The recent invasion by a large number of jellyfish of North Coast beaches may have spoiled the Eid vacation for many. Though jellyfish are no strangers to Egypt’s sea shores, thousands of people were upset this year to find huge numbers of them in the water, making them at least think twice before taking a swim.

So, if you’re planning to spend your summer vacation on the North Coast, beware of jellyfish. And if someone gets stung, don’t panic, most stings can be treated with simple remedies.

Though treatment depends on the type of jellyfish, in most cases after getting the person stung out of the water you should:

- Rinse the affected area with sea water to deactivate stinging cells and help get rid of any pieces of jellyfish tentacle in the skin.

- Gently scrape off any remaining stingers from the skin with the edge of an ID card, credit card or other similar plastic object.

- Immerse the affected area immediately after removing the tentacles in hot water, as hot as you can tolerate but not above 45C, for at least 20 minutes if possible, or apply ice packs for less severe stings to help ease the pain. A hot shower can be used instead for other parts of the body.  

- Rinse the affected area with plain vinegar for about 30 seconds or apply a paste of baking soda and seawater. These substances may deactivate the stingers of some types of jellyfish and reduce the reaction.

- Apply calamine lotion and take a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory medication to help reduce the swelling or itching.

- Rest and monitor the sting carefully. If a rash develops or you start to have difficulty breathing, you should consult a doctor.

In all cases you should:
-  Avoid fresh water which may irritate the wound by activating additional stingers still found in the sting.
-  Avoid drying the affected area with a towel or getting sand on the wound as these actions may activate more stingers and add to the irritation.
-  Avoid pouring alcohol of any kind on a throbbing jellyfish sting, as this will irritate the stingers.
-  Finally, avoid popular remedies including urine, lemon juice and shaving foam as they could make the situation worse.

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