Due to the high temperatures and the almost summery water temperature, the jellyfish are already back in the Mediterranean. How to relieve their bites? We explain to you what to do (and not to do) to avoid aggravating the burn caused by their filaments.
Jellyfish: why do they proliferate?
Like us, jellyfish appreciate warm waters and with global warming and the increase in temperatures observed in the Mediterranean Sea, we find more and more jellyfish on our coasts. Maritime pollution with fertilizers also promotes their presence since it increases the production of plankton on which they feed. In addition, their main predators (sea turtles and bluefin tuna) suffer from overfishing and are endangered.
First precaution for protect yourself from jellyfish : look around before bathing in the sea! And on the beach, wear sandals because, even when stranded, jellyfish retain their stinging power.
Jellyfish sting: how to treat it
The itching from a jellyfish sting can be very severe and the symptoms of the sting very painful. But above all: resist the temptation to scratch because it bursts the stinging vesicles (called cnidocytes) and this aggravates the burning sensation.
- Get back in the water right away and wet the bitten area with seawater.
- Then apply sand and let it dry.
- Gently pass a rigid cardboard, postcard or credit card type, without rubbing, to bring down the stinging vesicles that would remain stuck.
- Rinse again with sea water.
- Check that no filament remains stuck and if necessary, remove the last ones jellyfish filaments with pliers.
- To neutralize jellyfish venom and reduce pain, immerse the lesion in hot water about thirty minutes or dry with a hair dryer. It is now recognized that heat inhibits venom.
- Disinfect the wound with an antiseptic and apply an anti-inflammatory ointment to the wound.
>> Watch out for side effects of jellyfish stings. If the affected limb swells and you feel difficulty breathing, consult a rescue and emergency center as soon as possible.
In video: how to react in the event of a jellyfish sting?
Caution: do not apply cortisone-based ointment without seeking medical advice or showing the wound to your pharmacist.
Jellyfish sting: what grandmother’s remedies?
The vinegar : if you don’t have an antiseptic on hand, you can disinfect the affected area with vinegar (cider vinegar works best, but others can also do the trick). If you swim on a jellyfish beach, remember to bring your bottle of vinegar, to prevent it!
Pee on jellyfish sting : urinating on jellyfish stings is really not a good idea. urine, like fresh water, may in fact cause the cnidocytes to burst”.
Jellyfish stings: what not to do
- Rinse with fresh water as it bursts the stinging cells, releasing even more venom.
- Remove jellyfish filaments with bare hands because you could also burn your hand: use tweezers.
- suck the venom or touch the dead jellyfish, its poisonous principle is still active.
- Apply a tourniquet, or cause the wound to bleed.
>> Are all jellyfish dangerous? “Not all jellyfish are dangerous. Depending on the species, the size of the cnidocytes and the nature of the toxin can vary” explain the experts from Nausicaa, in Boulogne-sur-Mer.
Aurelia, the most common species on the shores of the English Channel, hardly stings. As for Rhizostoma pulma, the big Atlantic jellyfish, it has no tentacles, unlike the others, and is therefore not very stinging. The one that poses a problem, particularly in the Mediterranean, is Pelagia noctiluca, also known as the pelagic jellyfish, pelagia or even mauve stinger. Its sting, similar to a strong electric shock, even haunts holidaymakers, who worry when they see them proliferating on the shores of the Mediterranean.
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