Urinating, pouring alcohol on jellyfish sting can make things worse: study
Urinating and pouring alcohol on a jellyfish sting are some of the most commonly suggested home remedies. But, a new study has cautioned that such remedies can actually make things worse for the victim.
Urine contains urea that helps with tentacle removal, but it is too diluted to help the victim. The salt in the pee can trigger more nematocysts, giving a burning sensation to the skin. Moreover, peeing on someone or in someone’s presence is quite embarrassing for everyone involved.
The new study also warned that scraping away the tentacles is not a good idea as pressure can trigger the nematocysts. Alcohol can make them fire off even more, while other DIY remedies like baking soda and shaving cream have no effect on the stingers.
Lead researcher Prof. Angel Yanagihara of University of Hawaii, said, “Anyone … encounter authoritative web articles claiming the best thing to do is rinse the area with seawater, scrape away any remaining tentacles, and then treat the sting with ice. Not only did they find out some didn’t work, research showed some actions actually worsened stings.”
However, vinegar works as it prevents the nematocysts from firing off. Thus, if a jelly fish stings you, you should pour some concentrated vinegar on the affected area.
The new study, conducted to test the validity of the home remedies, was detailed in the most recent edition of the journal Toxins.