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How to Treat a Painful Jellyfish Sting

Updated on June 16, 2017
  • I have looked at a lot of profiles on and it appears that holding hands and "walking on the beach" at sunset or something like that is the most popular pastime of all men trying to impress a woman. But, you and I know that is a bunch of garbage. Men don't walk on the beach! They sit in recliners and drink beer while they watch television. And, why don't they like to walk on the beach, you may ask? It is because everyone knows that men can't stand pain and one sting from a jellyfish while "holding hands and walking on the beach" will make you wish you had stayed home, drank beer and watched reruns as well.
  • Never walk on the beach with bare feet. Never!

DON'T step on this at the beach!
DON'T step on this at the beach!
...and Jellyfish don't make great swim partners.  Their sting is painful and for some can be deadly.
...and Jellyfish don't make great swim partners. Their sting is painful and for some can be deadly.
Box jellyfish can be deadly...avoid them at all costs.
Box jellyfish can be deadly...avoid them at all costs.

They Have a Helluva Sting!!

  • Although most jellyfish (there are about 2,000 different species) are not poisonous, they can inflict one powerfully-hellacious sting that can hurt like the devil. Even if you step on a detached tentacle on the beach, you can still be stung, and could possibly break out in a rash that may even blister. Here are some tips to help you get through the trauma of a jellyfish sting.
  • For fast relief from a jellyfish sting, you can pour saltwater, or beer on the area, which will help to dry out the stingers. You could also use wine or vodka (you'll also want to save some of this for drinking). Drying out the stingers will help relieve the pain of the venom. (Urine, as a last resort, also works).
  • If you are stung, do not rub the area, as it can spread the venom. Remember that jellyfish venom can be easily spread to other body parts, so if you need to touch the stung area, wear gloves if you have them available.
  • Don't put fresh water on a jellyfish sting; it will cause the release of even more venom. Instead, use saltwater or ice, which will neutralize the venom. You can also apply distilled white vinegar to deactivate the toxins.
  • If by some chance you are stung on a hairy part of your body, by all means, shave it. Shaving will remove the stingers and venom.
  • If you have some adhesive tape, apply it to the sting. When you remove it, it should take at least some of the stingers with it.


* If, after being stung, you develop muscle spasms and have trouble breathing, go to the nearest emergency room for treatment.

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