Beach Alert: What to do with Jellyfish Sting

Ola! I just came back from an awesome weekend on the beach of Mindoro (Puerto Galera) where I originally planned to attend the Malasimbo Arts & Music Festival but ended up being cozy and lazy on the far end of the beach for three days. Besides, the Festival costs almost three thousand pesos for three nights, but I'm only staying for two, and so I scrimped and opted not to go this year.

As the title suggests, surprise, I got stung by a Jellyfish! I worked on this post as soon as I hit Manila because I'd like to share the experience to fellow beach lovers so that they would know what to do in such case.

So my little accident happened very quickly. Barely five minutes in the water, I suddenly felt this piercing, stingy sensation on my left hand and arm. The pain is intolerable, like hundreds of needles pierced me in one go. I knew something's not right, so I lift my hand out of the water and saw this transparent, sticky tentacles around my wrist. I freaked out and removed the tentacles with my left hand and asked my new friends, Dado and Gerardo, to pull me out of the water. I knew that vinegar should help in early treatment of jellyfish sting, but since my friends are still looking for some, I made the biggest mistake of washing my hand and arm with tap water and soap which made me squirm in pain. Apparently, fresh water reactivates the stinging cells of the tentacles, and thus, causes more pain and swelling - OUCH! The vinegar made it better by neutralizing the stinging cells,I also took two pain relievers and anti-histamine. My hand felt a little numb with hot stinging sensation all throughout the first night, and even a light touch makes me cringe. 

As of today, swelling is gone, but I have nasty spots all over my right hand and arm. I bought anti-inflammatory and anti-puritic cream to manage the spots. Thankfully, my allergic reaction is mild, and I  didn't get nauseous nor feverish - signs of severe allergic reaction that needs immediate medical treatment because it can be lethal.

The red spots go all the way to my forearm and back of my hand.

If you ever get stung by a Jellyfish, here's what you have to do:

1. Remove the tentacles with stick, tweezers, credit card or towel -NOT YOUR BARE HANDS! The fingers I used were affected, too. 

2. Wash the affected area with seawater. Do not use fresh or tap water. Fresh water will cause any stinging cells that haven't fired (called nematocysts) to do so and release their venom, possibly worsening the situation. This was what exactly happened to me. =( 

3. Use vinegar or baking soda to deactivate the toxin. Leave it on for 30 minutes. Hot compress can also lessen the pain. For your own good, do not pee on it! It can cause more irritation and is just gross!

4. Take anti-histamines and pain killers. Anti-bacterial cream will also help.

5. Observe the victim. Swelling is normal, but should subside after a few hours. Swelling and red spots on other parts of the body other than the affected area is a sign of severe allergic reaction. Fever and vomiting, too. If any of these occur, seek medical attention ASAP!

On a lighter note, my new girlfriend Simone, told me that at least I got stung by a Jellyfish once in my life, and so I can tick it off my bucket list! LOL. Also, I understand that this is really one of the risks of having fun under the sun, and any interaction with nature, can still be good. Besides, I now have the perfect excuse to be fash-yon (fashionable) and wear gloves in the office. In fact, I saw some leopard gloves in a bazaar weeks ago, and I hope to go back and find them! =) 

It's also good to find some anti-Jellyfish lotions (I heard it's being sold somewhere - let me know if you have a clue!), since I'm not slowing down on visiting as many beaches as I can. At the end of the day, all the expenses and even the sting are worth it!

Worth it? Why effin' not!

Happy Monday, loves!

From the Nook, 


  1. Ouchie naman yan Tweenie. Good to know na you're already okay. Thanks for this post, kung ako siguro major panic mode I know what to do hihihi..bigla ko tuloy naisip Spongebob Squarepants lol

  2. Hi Tweenie! Ako din I freaked out, it hurts, but I'm more concerned of the dark marks that will be left :(

    LOL on the Spongebob! I used to watch it, too. :)

    Take Care!


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