Jellyfish Stings

The best thing to do is avoid a jellyfish sting altogether. Do this by wearing protective clothing like Lycra leggings, long sleeved rash guards, gloves, socks / booties, etc. while enjoying water activities during Jellyfish season. The worst time for jellyfish in the gulf of Thailand is February – May, but it never hurts to be over cautious. Also, the full body cover helps with sunburn as well.

If you do get stung, we recommend the following advice, courtesy of Cindy, a woman who has done extensive personal (and painful) research on the subject:

1. Soak gauze pads with ammonia and apply them to the area to inactivate the stingers. If you can submerge the area in an ammonia bath. Apply the ammonia for 20 – 30 minutes. Be careful to use medical grade ammonia as ammonia that is too strong will cause your skin to turn to melt. If the area is dirty, clean the affected area with saline (salt water solution). Do NOT wash the area with fresh water.

2. Take an oral antihistamine as soon as possible after being stung. Continue taking them 2 times a day for up to 5 days depending on how your body reacts to the sting.

3. Take an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen as soon as possible after being stung. Continue taking them as needed in the coming days.

4. Once the initial treatment is completed (step 1) do any or all of the following:

  • Clean the area with saline, pat dry, and then apply a steroid cream (you may get this at any pharmacy in Thailand). Repeat at least twice a day until the area is no longer reacting to the sting.
  • If the wound continues to be itchy and red, you can soak it in saline, or soak gauze in saline and then apply to the wound twice a day. Soak or apply the saline for 20 – 30 minutes. This really helps take away itch and inflammation.
  • If the wound blisters badly, becomes open (the skin falls out), you have fever, swollen lymph nodes, or excessive swelling of the limb seek medical attention as you may need oral steroids to stop your body’s reaction to the sting

Please do not take oral medication suggested in steps 2 and 3 if you are allergic.

Personal Experience –¬†graphic pictures to follow: This Kite surfer got stung while he was getting out of the Water. It was a instant pain and felt like a electric shock. The pain was instant and strong. There was no treatment for the first 2 days which most likely caused this bad development!

Day 1

Day 1
Started with red lines
No pain
Not swollen yet
No treatment yet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Treatment week 1: antihistamine anti inflamation pills cleaning wounds with Saline
Week 1

Week 1
swollen foot
blisters
wet wounds

Week 1

Foot swollen even without any movement

Treatment: almost the same no walking, foot up all the time
Week 2

Week 2 & 3
not much better…

Week 2

Week 2 & 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

if you move less then 50% – this is the case when you stop walking and put your leg up most of the day, you HAVE TO think of “thrombosis”. You normaly have to get thrombosis injections! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thrombosis

Week 4

Week 4
you think all is getting better
but wounds are getting deep now

Treatment Week 4: Antihistamine Antinflamation pills Ibuprofen (swelling and pain) Octenisept (Antiseptic spray) Betadine (antiseptic ointment) Bepanthene for dry parts Saline
Week 5

Week 5
wounds are closing slowly
still swollen

Treatment: Antihistamine Antinflamation pills Ibuprofen (swelling and pain) Octenisept (Antiseptic spray) Betadine (antiseptic ointment) Bepanthene for dry parts Saline
Week 6

Week 6
wounds are better
dry on the back
BUT

Week 6

Wound on the side of the leg gets a bad infection

Treatment: Antihistamine Augumentin 2xday antibiotic Ibuprofen (swelling and pain) Octenisept (Antiseptic spray) Betadine (antiseptic ointment) Bepanthene for dry parts Saline.
Week 6

Week 6
after 2 days of antibiotic the infection gets better
sweeling is down a bit

Week 7

Week 7
wounds on the back are healing
almost no swelling

Week 7

The big wound gets better and drys

After 7 weeks our patient is back on the water again. Best advise is to wear jelly protecion and in case you get in touch with a jellyfish “immediate” treatment is necessary! Dont wait, any minute can avoid what you see here.
Week 6

Week 6
after 2 days of antibiotic the infection gets better
sweeling is down a bit