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Jellyfish sting: how to react?

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Jellyfish sting

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A jellyfish sting is always akin to intense pain, such as a burn or electric shock. What to do if you are stung? While some actions can make the sting of the jellyfish worse, others may soothe it. Discover the advice of the pros in case of jellyfish sting.

Numbers of bathers are victims of jellyfish bites on some coasts of the Mediterranean and also of the Atlantic. Jellyfish approach the shore with currents and enjoy warm waters. But especially the jellyfish stings through its venomous filaments adults and children causing a sharp pain. Discover our advice in case of jellyfish sting to spend holidays in peace.

How to soothe and treat a jellyfish sting?

We are often stung by a jellyfish in the sea or on the beach. Places where the means are rudimentary. With little else, we can completely calm the pain and provide first aid. "You must first remove the tentacles but never with unprotected hands because they would be stung, advises Dr. Jean-Pierre Poirier, dermatologist in Saint-Laurent du Var, then agglomerate with dry sand and then scrape the wound with a bus ticket, a credit card, a postcard ... Then rinse with seawater, especially no fresh water, which would make stinging cells discharge by osmotic shock, and avoid a traditional means of urinating above."

The natural advice of Dr. Rey

Eat red fruits, tomatoes and carrots to better prepare the skin for the aggressions of the summer (bites of all kinds and sun).

To soothe the pain, you can take an analgesic paracetamol or anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen or aspirin). Then, according to your convictions, apply a soothing cream with cortisone 2 to 3 times a day or, more naturally, homeopathic creams (Dapis, for example). You can also brush the area quilted with lavender oil or immortelle oil, very effective. Clean the wound if it is oozing with an antiseptic.

Is a jellyfish sting serious?

On our shores, jellyfish are more talked about than they represent a real danger. However, there are several types of stings, some of which need to be closely monitored. "The severity of the bite depends on various criteria, says Dr. Jean-Pierre Poirier, the number of bites, their location (near the eyes, for example), their occurrence offshore (risk of drowning by panic and / or malaise) or the ground (infant, patient, old man ...) of the patient comes into play. "

More worryingly, in some tropical seas, such as in southern Thailand or Australia, jellyfish stings like jellyfish can be fatal (in 25% of cases). Jellyfish 2 meters in diameter with filaments up to 40 meters long in Arctic seas have also been observed. Rest assured, on the beaches of France, the Mediterranean or the Atlantic, jellyfish are usually small and dangerous.

How to behave with children in case of sting?

On the beach, kids love to splash around and play in the water. They are also less vigilant towards the danger represented by jellyfish. "Children should not have fun with jellyfish stranded on the beach," says Dr. Jacques Rey, homeopath pediatrician at St. Raphael, it is up to parents to educate the youngest in this sense. Even dead, the jellyfish remains stinging. "For the youngest babies, always check if there is no jellyfish.In case of doubt, avoid bathing.For young children and in areas at risk, dress them in lycra clothes and do not put their heads under water, "recommends Dr. Jacques Rey.

In case of sting, the treatment is the same as that of adults. "Calm the pain with warm seawater to destroy the active ingredients," says Dr. Jacques Rey, "Get rid of stinging cells and once the skin is cleansed, protect it with healing ointments." Like the adult, if the bite is at sea, calm is required to avoid panic and risk drowning. Soothe the victim by explaining that the pain fades over the next few hours and days.

Should I go to the pharmacy, to the doctor or to the dermatologist?

From simple pain to discomfort, fever or headaches, reactions after a jellyfish sting vary according to its intensity (number of tentacles stuck to the skin, duration of contact, ground ...). "Most often, the bites are small and localized, reassures Maxence Ermeneux at the Lido Rescue Station in Sanary-sur-Mer.

If the person has severe itching and pain, he or she is referred to a general practitioner or emergency department at the nearest hospital. Firefighters are only called if the sting is extensive or if the victim is uncomfortable. "Consult a dermatologist if you are concerned about an aesthetic sequel even if the scars from a jellyfish sting are very rare.If the sting comes close to the eyes and if the cornea seems to be affected, request an appointment with an ophthalmologist.

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