Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Man-O-War Sting Treatment

Treatment of jellyfish stings varies somewhat with the species of the jellyfish. In general, treatment usually includes skin rinsing with an acetic acid (vinegar) solution, and the removal of jellyfish tentacles. Other measures include acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain and fever control.

Treatment options for jellyfish stings include:

Man-O-War Sting Cyst Removal

Removing jellyfish cysts and venom from the skin can prevent further injury.

Removal of jellyfish cysts and venom includes:

  • 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.
  • Do not scrub or scrape the tentacles.
    • 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.

Man-O-War Sting Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat jellyfish stings:

Continue to Man-O-War Sting Home Care

Last Updated: Oct 13, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Man-O-War Sting References
  1. Nimorakiotakis B, Winkel KD. Marine envenomations. Part 1--Jellyfish. Aust Fam Physician. 2003 Dec;32(12):969-74. [14708142]
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