Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care pain in adults pain in children warning signs Prevention Outlook Complications Underlying Cause

Cone Shell Stings Home Care

First aid for marine stings:

  • Rinse the affected area with salt water.
    • Do not use fresh water.
  • Carefully remove any tentacles.
    • Use tweezers or a gloved hand.
    • Use adhesive tape.
  • Rinse again.
    • This releases more venom into the skin.
  • Rinse the skin with household vinegar.
    • This inactivates the venom.
    • If vinegar is not available, use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment and a bandage.

Additional home care includes:

First aid for marine cuts:
  • Clean the wound:
    • First, rinse the wound with fresh water.
    • Use mild soap and water to clean the wound.
    • Do not scrub the wound.
    • Remove dirt from the wound.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment.
  • Cover the wound:
    • Use gauze or an elastic bandage.
    • Wounds to the face may be left uncovered.
  • Keep the wound clean and dry.
  • Rest the injured area.
  • Elevate the injured area.
    • Above the heart if possible
  • Apply cold compresses:
    • Apply for 20-30 minutes for the first day.
  • Take prescribed medications as directed.
  • Acetaminophen for pain
  • Ibuprofen for pain

For more information:

Cone Shell Stings Pain in Adults

Medications commonly used to control pain and inflammation in adults with a marine sting include:


Acetaminophen
  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.

Aspirin

Ibuprofen

Naproxen

Ketoprofen

NSAID Precautions

Cone Shell Stings Pain in Children

Common medications used at home for pain and fever in children with a marine sting include:


Aspirin and most of the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are not used in children except under a doctor's care.

Acetaminophen
  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Dosing is 10-15 mg per kilogram (5-7 mg per pound) of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Acetaminophen products come in various strengths. Always follow the package instructions.
  • Avoid this drug in children with liver disease or an allergy to acetaminophen.
  • Common acetaminophen products include Tylenol, Panadol and many others.

Ibuprofen

Naproxen

Cone Shell Stings Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have a marine sting and any of the following:

Continue to Cone Shell Stings Prevention

Last Updated: Mar 11, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cone Shell Stings References
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  2. Evans RJ, Davies RS. Stingray injury. J Accid Emerg Med. 1996 May;13(3):224-5. [8733672]
  3. Meyer PK. Stingray injuries. Wilderness Environ Med. 1997 Feb;8(1):24-8. [11990133]
  4. Nimorakiotakis B, Winkel KD. Marine envenomations. Part 1--Jellyfish. Aust Fam Physician. 2003 Dec;32(12):969-74. [14708142]
  5. Nomura JT, Sato RL, Ahern RM, Snow JL, Kuwaye TT, Yamamoto LG. A randomized paired comparison trial of cutaneous treatments for acute jellyfish (Carybdea alata) stings. Am J Emerg Med. 2002 Nov;20(7):624-6. [12442242]
  6. Reed KC, Crowell MC, Castro MD, Sloan ML. Skin and soft-tissue infections after injury in the ocean: culture methods and antibiotic therapy for marine bacteria. Mil Med. 1999 Mar;164(3):198-201. [10091493]
  7. Rocca AF, Moran EA, Lippert FG 3rd. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of soft tissue necrosis resulting from a stingray puncture. Foot Ankle Int. 2001 Apr;22(4):318-23. [11354445]
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