Seen from afar, the jellyfish they can also fascinate, everything changes if you are faced with a close encounter! The most dangerous part of the jellyfish are the tentacles which extend with filaments; if in contact with the skin of the unfortunate, they release a mix of three proteins with stinging, paralyzing and neurotoxic action.
The effect can be compared to a burn and can last from a few hours to several days: it depends on the reaction of the skin, the type of jellyfish and the first remedies that are implemented. Do's and don'ts when we get hit by one jellyfish?
Jellyfish sting, what to do
In case of a jellyfish sting it is good not to panic. If you feel itching and burning after you are in contact with a jellyfish, try to reach the shore keeping calm, even if you are alone; do not get excited and avoid making sudden movements: it serves to avoid a greater production of adrenaline which will make the toxins released in the body go into circulation faster.
Once on the beach, check that no parts of the tentacle are left attached to the body; in this case they must be detached: just use rigid plastic such as that of a card or a knife not on the side of the blade. Immediately rinse the area bitten by the jellyfish using sea water in order to dilute the substances not yet penetrated into the skin.
Once this is done, spread astringent gel based on aluminum chloride (5%) on the affected area so as to soothe the itching and slow down the spread of toxins. Keep the affected area in the shade to avoid the formation of spots and scars.
Itching, redness and burning are the first symptoms of contact with a jellyfish but usually after 20-30 minutes the burning goes to sleep and only the itching remains. If the skin reaction is extensive and other symptoms such as difficulty breathing, sweating, paleness, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, confusion are highlighted, you should go to the emergency room or call 118.
In any case, it is always good to consult an expert after first aid to receive the most appropriate therapy.
Jellyfish sting, what not to do
- Do not use fresh water to rinse the area affected by the jellyfish: you risk encouraging the breakdown of any stinging cells (nematocysts) that are still intact on the skin.
- Do not rub the affected area with sand or a warm stone: to be effective they should have a temperature of 40-50 degrees
- Do not use urine
- Do not expose the affected area to the sun: permanent dark spots may be created
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