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:
- Skin rinsing
- Application of vinegar for jellyfish stings:
- Vinegar or acetic acid in solutions of 4-6%
- Pour vinegar over adhering tentacles for at least 30 seconds.
- Removal of the jellyfish tentacles
- Wound care for jellyfish stings
- Antihistamines for itching:
- Baking soda may be effective for stings caused by sea nettle
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Narcotic pain medication
- Anti-venom is available for Box Jellyfish stings
Man-O-War Sting Cyst Removal
- 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
- Nimorakiotakis B, Winkel KD. Marine envenomations. Part 1--Jellyfish. Aust Fam Physician. 2003 Dec;32(12):969-74.