Monday, January 11, 2010

What's the best treatment for jellyfish stings?

The advice below is taken from Lifesaving Victoria Circular 166:12:09 available at

This jellyfish (Catostylus), seen in large numbers on our beaches this summer is not medically harmful and will only cause skin irritation. If stinging occurs on the face, or if there are any doubts, always seek medical assistance.

Lifesaving Victoria recommends:

wash sting area with saltwater to remove any stinger cells still on the skin and not visible to the naked eye and place ice on the area for a maximum of 20 minutes to assist in reducing pain.

  • stinger cells are too small to be seen with the eye and can remain on the skin after the tentacles have been removed
  • wash the area with salwater to remove these cells as much as possible, as freshwater can actually make the stinging cells release more toxin


Paul Hassing said...

I'm pleased to have read this info, Janet. My wife and I were walking our dogs on the St Kilda doggie beach last weekend and I was worried what the jellyfish would do to us and how to handle it. Now I know. Keep up the great work! Best regards, P. :)

Janet Bolitho said...

Thanks Paul. The lifesavers have invaluable experience. Apparently jellyfish have been around longer than we have as a species.