Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I've Been Stung by a Jellyfish!!!

Getting stung by a jellyfish when you are out enjoying a day in the sea can be quite frustrating and very painful, even if it is not one of those of the more dangerous variety. (In which case, it can be deadly!) I've been stung by a jellyfish once and sea urchins twice. It is not fun.

On the recent trip to Pulau Sibu, one of my friends got stung by a jellyfish. It got her on the top of her right foot and along the inner part of the left thigh just above the knee. Ouch!

So what do you do when stung by a jellyfish? Of course, there is the remedy that was aired on an episode of Friends, but that isn't the only way to take care of it. Here's some things that I've learned. (All of these are effective for sea urchin stings too, though you have to take an extra step there to make sure the spine doesn't remain intact under the skin.)

• salt water is effective for killing some of the poison in the jellyfish sting, so stay in the sea

• lime juice likewise kills the poisons, so get some limes and squeeze as much juice as you can onto the affected areas

• vinegar has the same effect, so drench the skin in as much of it as you can take

• commercial allergy medication can help reduce the body's reaction to the jellyfish sting

The lime juice and/or vinegar treatments are pretty easy to do in most areas in Malaysia and Thailand where I have been snorkeling, as these items are readily available. One thing to keep in mind with both options is that it can really hurt whne you put the juice onto the affected area. But the sting of it is worth the relief it will bring, and it is the only way to ensure you've killed the poison in the affected areas. If you don't apply (at least) one of these treatments, I've heard that the poison can continue to spread and do its work, making the whole ordeal even more miserable than it already is.

The best, of course, is to avoid jellyfish and sea urchins altogether, but that is not always possible. (Easier with sea urchins, but even then... it can happen.) If you do get stung, don't panic. These home remedies can be quite effective, if you aren't dealing with the really dangerous varieties of jellyfish. And for those cases, don't wait — get to a doctor immediately.

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Michelle said...

so... did you have some one pee on you? :o)

hifidel said...

Well, I used the lime and vinegar treatments at different times, but I've never taking that particular course of action. I have heard it is effective, but have thankfully never had to resort to it myself. I'll ask my friend whether she tried it. :-)

Now, I've also heard that a young virgin boy's pee is more likely to be effective than that of any other category of people. But something tells me that might be an old wives' tale.