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Does Urine Heal Jellyfish Stings?

Posted Mar 31 2010 5:25pm

We’ve all heard lots of different wives tales. Some of them are absolutely true. For example, black powder and cream mixed together and applied to poison oak rashes will work. Some of them however are either absolutely wrong, or only half right. Urine for Jellyfish stings is one of those wives tales.

does urine heal jellyfish stings

Urine Does Not Heal Jellyfish Stings

You are swimming in the ocean and you first feel the slime, and then the sting. You’ve been stung by a jellyfish – and your first thought is to urinate on it, or to have someone else urinate on the sting for you. The truth of the matter is that urine does absolutely nothing to heal a jellyfish sting. In fact, in many cases, it can actually make the jellyfish sting worse.

This is a case where the old wives tale is absolutely wrong – but for a short period of time, may seem absolutely right.

Why Urine for Jellyfish Stings Sometimes Seems to Be Working

If you do urinate on the jellyfish sting, or have someone else urinate on the sting, you may actually think that it is working at first. This is because the acid in the urine may neutralize the stinging sensation for a short period of time. This effect is temporary at best – very temporary. Furthermore, if there is not enough acid in the urine, it may not alleviate any of the pain or stinging at all.

Because of the toxins in the urine, the sting could become worse, in terms of healing, and it may even become infected. Do not urinate on jellyfish stings – even for temporary pain relief.

The Proper Treatment of Jellyfish Stings minus the Urine

If you are stung by a jellyfish, the first thing to do is to get a pair of protective gloves on, and remove any tentacles that are still on the skin. Check carefully for those lingering tentacles!

Once the tentacles are removed, you can try to apply vinegar to the sting, as this does help some types of jellyfish stings – but not all kinds. The best thing to do is to start rinsing the area with hot water. The water should not be boiling hot, so that it causes more damage to the skin, however. While rinsing or pouring may feel better, it is actually best for the sting to immerse the area in hot water, and leave it there. Also administer ibuprofen for pain and swelling.

You must also be on the lookout for anaphylaxis. This is an allergic reaction that needs immediate emergency care. The symptoms of anaphylaxis from jellyfish stings include difficulty breathing, itching, hives, dizziness, weakness, and a tightening of the throat.

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