What is Jellyfish Stings?
Jellyfish stings are a common nuisance to swimmers and divers. With trailing tentacles that contain thousands of tiny barbed stingers, jellyfish are found in all of the world's oceans. Jellyfish stings range from mild to severe. Some jellyfish are very poisonous and even small stings can cause severe pain and irritation, while other jellyfish are harmless to humans. Most jellyfish stings get better with home treatment, but some types of jellyfish stings can be more severe and require medical treatment. In rare cases, jellyfish stings that are widespread or from certain species of jellyfish can be life-threatening.
What causes Jellyfish?
Jellyfish tentacles contain tiny, poisonous barbs that are released when they come in contact with something. These poisonous barbs, known as nematocysts, are used by the jellyfish to immobilize prey such as small fish. When a person brushes against jellyfish tentacles, it causes the nematocysts to inject poison into the surface of the person's skin.
Some jellyfish are harmless, but a number of jellyfish can cause painful stings. Certain jellyfish are very poisonous and cause severe stings. Some jellyfish that can cause painful or severe stings include:
Treatment of Jellyfish
Most jellyfish stings can be treated with home remedies. Steps include:
For severe stings, home remedies may not be enough, and medical attention or emergency treatment may be needed. Emergency treatment can include:
If you do need emergency treatment for a systemic reaction caused by severe jellyfish stings, you'll need to stay in the hospital for at least 6 to 8 hours.