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Nonvenomous jellyfish commonly called a jellyball. (Anne Helmenstine)

It's beach weather! The ocean is full of fun, but it's also full of wildlife, including jellyfish. Do you know what to do if you or someone with you sees a jellyfish or is stung by one? You should know the answer to these questions before you go to the beach, since an encounter with a jellyfish can be a painful or possibly lethal experience. As a matter of practical chemistry, your biggest risk from a jellyfish or man of war sting may come from improper first aid intended to deal with the venom, so pay attention...

Question: What should you do if you see a jellyfish?

Best Answer: Leave it alone.
If it's in the water, get away from it. If it's on the beach and you need to walk around it, walk above it (dune side) rather than below it (surf side), since it may be trailing tentacles. Keep in mind a jellyfish does not need to be alive in order to sting you. Detached tentacles are capable of stinging and releasing venom for several weeks.

My Actual Answer: It depends what kind of jellyfish it is.
I realize if it looks like floating jelly, it's considered a 'jellyfish', but there are different types of jellyfish and also animals that look like jellyfish but are something else entirely. Not all jellyfish can hurt you. The jellyball pictured above, for example, is common off the coast of South Carolina, where I live. What do you do when you see one? If you are a kid, you'll probably pick it up and throw it at another kid (unless it's alive and then you avoid it because they kind of hurt when the waves throws one at you). This is a non-venomous jellyfish. Most parts of the world have non-venomous jellyfish, which tend to be easy-to-spot. It's the jellyfish you don't see that present the biggest threat. Many jellyfish are transparent, like the one pictured below. You probably won't see them in the water, so if you are stung you won't know exactly what got you. If you see a jellyfish and don't know what type it is, treat it like a venomous species and get away from it.

Most jellyfish you are likely to see on the beach resemble clear slime or jelly. (sami73, Flickr)

Question: How do I treat a jellyfish sting?

Answer: Act quickly and calmly to remove the tentacles, stop the stinging, and deactivate any toxin.
Here is where people get confused, because the best steps to take depend on what type of animal caused the sting. Here's a good basic strategy, especially if you don't know what caused the sting:
  1. Get out of the water. It's easier to deal with the sting and it takes drowning out of the equation.
  2. Rinse the affected area with sea water. Do not use fresh 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. Do not rub sand on the area (same reason).
  3. If you see any tentacles, carefully lift them off the skin and remove them with a stick, shell, credit card, or towel (just not your bare hand). They will stick to swimwear, so use caution touching clothing.
  4. Keep an eye on the victim. If you see any signs of an allergic reaction, call 911 immediately. Symptoms could include difficulty breathing, nausea, or dizziness. Some redness and swelling is normal, but if it spreads outward from the sting or if you see hives on other parts of the body, that could indicate an allergic response. If you suspect a reaction, do not hesitate to seek medical attention!
  5. Now... if you are sure the sting is from a jellyfish and not a Portuguese Man of War (shown below, the Man of War is not a true jellyfish) or any other animal, you can use chemistry to your advantage to inactivate the toxin, which is a protein. (Technically the venom tends to be a mixture of polypeptides and proteins including catecholamines, histamine, hyaluronidase, fibrolysins, kinins, phospholipases, and assorted toxins). How do you inactivate proteins? You can change the temperature or acidity by applying heat or an acid or base, such as vinegar or baking soda or diluted ammonia, or even an enzyme, such as the papain found in papaya and meat tenderizer. However, chemicals may cause the stinging cells to fire, which is bad news for someone allergic to jellyfish toxin or anyone stung by a Portuguese Man of War. If you do not know what caused the sting or if you suspect it is from a Man of War, do not apply fresh water or any chemical. Your best course of action is to apply heat to the affected area, since it penetrates the skin and inactivates the toxin without causing more venom to be injected. Also, heat quickly helps alleviate the pain of the sting. Hot seawater is great, but if you don't have that handy, use any warmed object.
  6. Some people carry aloe vera gel, Benadryl cream, or hydrocortisone cream. I'm not sure how effective the aloe is, but Benadryl is an antihistamine, which may help limit an allergic response to the sting. Hydrocortisone can help reduce inflammation. If you seek medical attention and used Benadryl or hydrocortisone, be sure to alert the medical professionals. Acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen commonly are used to relieve pain.

    The Portuguese Man of War (Physalia physalis) looks a lot like a jellyfish, but it is a different animal. While the blue or pink sail cannot harm you, the trailing tentacles pack a potentially-lethal sting. The tentacles can sting you even if the animal is dead.

    World's Most Venomous Insect | Jellyfish Bioluminescence


June 16, 2008 at 1:19 pm
(1) WardF3 says:

Jelleyfish stings
Good start; But suggest everyone read up on it more: http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/medical/faq/faq.asp?faqid=96
DAN.org is great for safety in the water.

June 30, 2011 at 6:13 am
(2) Elmira says:

Your story was really ifnroamtvie, thanks!

July 11, 2009 at 8:10 pm
(3) Dorothy Skierski says:

Vinegar and many other homeopathic remedies exacerbate the pain and cause more nematocysts to fire. I just read a release from Dr. Peter Verity, a marine biologist with the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, regarding several experiments. He recommended a product called Jellyfish Squish which contains Lidocaine, a known topical pain reliever. It also paralyzed the nematocysts keeping them from firing and releasing additional venom. I and others in my family have used it, and you should experiment with it in order to help all those affected by stings.

Sincerely, D.S.

July 8, 2011 at 10:55 pm
(4) Tybee beachgoer says:

we used it, it didnt help even a little!!!

August 24, 2011 at 11:20 am
(5) eywmm0 says:

same here. it has been over 10 days since i got hit by a man of war. the injured area is scabbed over and very painful. i called a nurse a few days after and she “giggled” and suggested the jellyfish squish. $10 later, no help. i’m not sure if i should go to see a dr. or not.

November 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm
(6) Carrie says:

Well i got stung but the vinigure helps alot and does the sea water. but you want to make sure you keep reaplying the vinigre from a water sprayer helps alot! like every 4-5mins. I had been stung from my toes up to my hip my leg was covered in the sting. and it also got my other knee and back on my thiigh.

July 15, 2009 at 8:51 pm
(7) Wayne Greene says:

Twice in two years, after swimming in Vietnam, I had a reaction on my skin that lasted two weeks. I developed red spots and severe itching. I used Vietnamese traditional remedies but was never sure what the cause of the reaction was. The ocean was calm and the swimming was easy and good. No signs were available for tourists with warnings about hazardous swimming conditions. The Vietnamese thought it was secretion from jellyfish. However, I never noticed any jellyfish at all. My legs were mostly affected. My arms and chest did not react much. If you have any ideas as to what caused the iritation, please advise. I often swim in Vietnam with no reaction at all. Thank you! Please e-mail a response back to me. Sincerely, Wayne Greene

September 3, 2011 at 11:36 pm
(8) Alike says:

Sounds like you got stung by plancton particles. Very small, you can’t see them. Itching a lot for several days. I know this from Thailand.

August 19, 2009 at 11:46 am
(9) Jenny says:

I also have experienced that lingering affect from a jelly fish sting. While swimming in the ocean I got stung by what I assume to be a jellyfish, I had not actually seen it but the day before we had seen a few. It is over a week later and I have a rash where I was stung on my left arm, and I believe I also got hit on my legs because I have the same marks there. It is incredibly itchy and uncomfortable. Anyone know how to get rid of this?

August 23, 2009 at 3:54 am
(10) Gabriele says:

One of my kids got stung by a jelly four days ago and just today the area became so itchy, red and raised it is driving him crazy. He can’t sleep. I can’t find any information on this delayed reaction. Gave him Benadryl and Cortisone cream.

August 23, 2009 at 4:10 pm
(11) DL says:

A friend told me a lifeguard used urine on her sting. She got immediate relief. I was stung a week ago at Isle of Palms near Charleston, SC. I used vinegar and got immediate relief. 3 days ago Bumps appeared and the redness worsned along the “stinging streaks” and the itching is terrible. Cortisone does not help much. Any ideas?

August 24, 2009 at 8:08 pm
(12) timax apae says:

I wish to introduce to you a friend of mine from a remote Island of Papua New Guinea just off the northern tip of Australia, who claims to have known a very eefective cure for Box jelly fish stings. It comes in natural forms and is normally regarded as food to his local community. If this may interest you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

August 25, 2009 at 6:14 pm
(13) M.G. says:

Dear DL-

I was on vacation in Charleston, SC last week and I also was stung by a jellyfish, while swimming on Sullivan Island (it is near Isle of Palms). I am not sure what kind of jellyfish stung me, as I did not see it. It attached itself to my leg underwater and I had to violently shake my leg to get it off. There were no tentacles stuck in my leg, just a very large wavy red pattern on my leg and thigh. I did, however, develop the exact same reaction that you did with the rash. I got stung on Monday, 8-17-09 and it was just yesterday, 8-24-09 that the itching rash developed. My leg was so swollen and severly itchy today that I went to the doctor, because nothing helped. I put Cortisone cream on it but that seemed to make it worse. The doctor gave me a Cortisone shot and recommended that I take Zyrtec to ease itching. If that does not help, she wants me to take antibiotics. It is really strange that we have the same symptoms. Any luck with helping yours?

September 4, 2010 at 9:03 am
(14) RC says:

I was stung by a jellyfish on 8/27/10 at Hilton Head SC. Today is 9/4/10 and it itches a lot and has swollen and has turned red. What is the best thing you can put on to relieve the itching? One thing I have found out right after you get stung,within 10 min or so is to mix vinegar with meat tenderizer in a small spray bottle and spray it on the jellyfish stings and rub it in and within a few seconds the sting will completely go away, it really works! This time I didn’t have anything with me to relieve the stings so I did rub sand on it and then put ice on it and it relieve it some but it was to late to do any good when I put vinegar on it. It is a week later and I really itch everywhere the jellyfish got me, need help! any suggestions/

February 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm
(15) Tiffter says:

Me too i got stung yeaterday and i am all itchy with red dots every wear even plases i dident get stung. HELP

April 17, 2011 at 10:15 am
(16) micheal says:

this is cool but you need more info

April 17, 2011 at 10:15 am
(17) micheal says:

this is cool but you need more info

April 17, 2011 at 10:15 am
(18) micheal says:

this is cool but you need more info

April 17, 2011 at 10:15 am
(19) micheal says:

this is cool but you need more info

August 26, 2009 at 6:47 pm
(20) Dave says:

I too was at Isle of Palms near Charleston, SC and also got stung. That was a week ago and just yesterday, terrible red blisters showed up. The jelly fish that got me with realy big. It got the whole back of my right calf and half of my other calf. My ankles just today got swolen. Does anybody know why it took a week to affect me and how to stop it? Please help.

August 27, 2009 at 9:41 am
(21) kim says:

i also got stung in myrtle beach south carolina last wednesday 8/19/09 today 8/27/09 my arm is very swollen and itchy worse than when i was stung. i dint know what to do.

August 27, 2009 at 10:03 am
(22) Carrie says:

I was stung by what I believe was a jellyfish–(did not see it, but felt a terrible burning) while on Ocean Isle Beach, NC on August 18th, 2009. The initial sting was quite painful, occuring on both lower legs. Friends helped me out of the water and rubbed ice (wrong thing!!) When the EMS arrived they put hot packs on the stings and sprayed vinegar and water on them. I took Zyrtec all week. The 1st day was really bad, after that, it got a little better each day until a week later when the areas became inflamed, raised, red, and EXTREMELY itchy. Have been taking Benadryl for the last day or so and applying cortisone cream (OTC. I am going to my doctor today because the itching is incredible. It looks horrible also.

August 28, 2009 at 7:23 am
(23) kim says:

I was stung in Hilton Head on 8/16. Did the usual tx on site (vinegar, salt water, benadryl). The sting marks all but disappeared withing 24 hours. Then, 7-10 days out they came back, red and itchy – looking worse than then did when I was first stung. I thought it was because I got a cold & so my immunie system was kicked up or compromised. But, in reading on line it seems that it is comon for a itchy rash to come out about 1 week after. For the past 2 days I have been applying Vitamin E (poke hole in capsule, sqwueeze out, coat rash) and that seems to be helping. The rash is disappearing. I have also been taking my usual allergy medication whenever the itch gets unbearable. NOt sure if the heaing is due to the E or just the passage of time, but I would reccommend trying the E (it may help prevent scarring too). Good luck!

August 28, 2009 at 10:50 am
(24) deman says:

When swimming longer distances in the Mediterranean Sea I regularly get stung by red jellyfish, mostly – and more intense – at the shoulders / chest or head / face, less intense at the legs. I generally wear swimming goggles to protect the eyes. First treatment is always some ready-to-use shaving foam on the affected areas. After approx five minutes I take a pocket knife and shave the area criss-cross. I repeat the procedure once or twice and take a shower a few hours later, strongly rubbing the areas with a towel. No chemicals, cosmetics or other treatment. The welts and swellings vanish after a few days, just some itching and later little scarf. But no pain, fester or ugly red-blue welts as often to see.

August 28, 2009 at 12:54 pm
(25) deman says:

sorry for my bad English – later just some SCURF

August 29, 2009 at 8:06 pm
(26) Carrie says:

I went to the dr who actually checked her medical books to make sure what treatment to use on me. She gave me a cortisone injection, a 6 day oral methylprednisolone treatment, told me to double up on zyrtec or benadryl ( twice a day, once every twelve hours) and to use Aveeno oatmeal bath to soak my legs in. Within a daya, the itching subsided to a tolerable level. I still have incredible lesions all over my lower legs and when they itch, I soak them. Can’t wait for this to be over–There are actual HOLES in my one leg from the tentacles and pieces of tentacles feel like they are working their way to the surface…(GROSS) What kind WAS that jellyfish??? I wish I knew…

August 30, 2009 at 5:43 pm
(27) Bryan says:

I too was stung on the south carolina coast approximately 1 1/2 wks ago. The sting wasn’t terribly painful, it got me across the top of the right foot pretty good and a 1″ x 3″ spot on the back of the left leg. Started itching terribly several days ago. I’ve been stung before and never had it come back like this. Anyways, I found some Oak and Ivy Brand Tecnu Outdoor Skin Cleanser. It says it removes the oils that cause rash and itching from poison oak and ivy. Its intended use is to wash the skin when you realize you’ve had contact with poison oak/ivy, but I was willing to try anything. Itching is gone. I have to reapply periodically but overall it looks and feels better. Let me know if anyone has similar results. Good luck, that itching is unbearable.

September 3, 2009 at 11:51 pm
(28) amy says:

I was stung while I was at myrtle beach sc on 8/16/09, on 8/30/09 red bumps showed up on my ankle and foot. no itching but I’ve started to get a sore type of pain in my foot, ankle and shin. doesn’t make sense to me.

September 8, 2009 at 11:05 am
(29) sylvia says:

wow, it sems, like I am not the only one with this kind of reaction. I got stung 10 days ago,and three days ago the red bumps showped again on my ankle. I would never thing it might take so long.

September 10, 2009 at 8:32 pm
(30) Carrie says:

Well, just sharing an update here: my stings are still quite visible, they all came back after my cortisone/steroid treatment ended. I am resigned to using Benadryl gel and orally taking a double dose of antihistamines (zyrtec during the day and benadryl at night) to keep things somewhat under control. This is 24 days later! Somebody told me that it must be a man-of-war that stung me originally and that it would take a few months for it to all go away. Still itchy!

September 24, 2009 at 10:53 pm
(31) Lisa says:

I was stung by “something” at Myrtle Beach S.C on 8/26/09. It felt like glass shrapnel hit my lower leg. At first look at the site I could barely notice any form of a mark where it stung, but after taking the advice of someone who said it was a man-of -war sting and rubbing it with a vinegar-doused washcloth, something like purple slash appeared with many red dots. The jagged slash and red dots continued to brighten and appear deeper and deeper. Saw my dr. the next day, put me on antibiotics and a tetanus shot and within days referred me to a wound specialist. I am now seeing the dr. weekly for extremely painful debridements. If anyone can shed light on what may have stung me it would be so appreciated. Its never been itchy just very very painful.

September 26, 2009 at 8:12 am
(32) sonya sanford says:

i got stung twice on 9-18-09, very painful, but not something yyou could not handle. had initall swelling and pain, by next morning it wasgone. Until 9-23-09, now the itching and swelling is driving me crazy. need to kow what to do. some say hyrcortizone and some say do not.. need to know what to do.. any one with help please tell me.. thanks sonya

October 2, 2009 at 8:28 am
(33) Sarah says:

I got ‘stung’ by something I didn’t see in the Sea of Japan off Tomamae in West Hokkaido. Again 7-days later it’s itching as like most of the posts here! Couldn’t find any academic papers on the subject in order to try to find a difinitive solution – any academics out there want to research jellyfish sting itch reoccurence?!

November 18, 2009 at 9:27 pm
(34) Carrie says:

A manowar sting typically “recurs” a week to 10 days after the initial episode. Going to a doctor will allow you to use antibiotics and oral cortisone medication to deal with the painful itching, etc. Anyone who has had complications from what they thought was just a jellyfish sting probably has come into contact with a manowar. The sting lasts a lot longer, is more intense, and you need to see a physician to clear it up and get some real relief.

January 9, 2010 at 5:58 am
(35) Philip says:

I got stung this morning and immeadiatly applied a 30 + sunscreen to the area which was on the inside of the arm very painful , then used a microfibre singlet to rub off the area and did it again and it was gone in half an hour
The best I have done yet , then got another one just before comming home did same things and its ok
Showered once home and am ok
Melbourne Australia , I hope this helps

March 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm
(36) Sherry Secrist says:

I was recently attacked or stung by something while swimming just offshore at a resort in Antigua. It was dark & so I did not see what it was that ‘bit’ me but I can tell you that it was large enough to wrap itself around my 5’6″ 125 pound self. It first stung my hands and then it seemed to wrap itself around my neck, torso and finally around one of my upper thighs, stinging the upper thigh area badly enough to leave thick, red welts there for days. It was a terribly frightening experience! It was like being attacked by a very large ball of very long hair. The pain was excruciating so much so that I could only dry heave. The pain lasted for hours but the local resort owner seemed to be quite bored with my pain or any type of remedy other than to pour rum on it and then apply cortisone, neither remedy of course were effective at all. I never did see what it was that ‘bit’ me. I have described the pain to a few (including doctors) people since I’ve been back in the States and they liken the pain to shingles. I no longer have welts but it is odd that I developed some pretty intense intestinal problems incuding cramping & diarrhea that resulted in my spending quite some time in the w/c for days, abdominal pain, nausea. Also, I had chest pain and really felt so awful at one point that I wanted to go to the ER. Apparently the resort where I was staying didn’t think it was serious enough for medial attention although I thought the pain was quite excruciating for several hours. Wish I knew what it was that got me!

March 24, 2010 at 1:14 am
(37) Ellie says:

I got stung by jellyfish about 10 days ago… at the time it was swollen, and painful, but was not bad and went away that night. after a week, it came back and crazy itchy!! then it welted like tiny blisters.. cortizone, shots, antihistamine and other remedies did not work for me at all. then i started to get cold sores on my lips so i took “ACYCLOVIR” which is a prescription drug (not over the counter). my welts have gone down a lot, redness and warmth on those spots have much reduced. Best of all, it does not itch! YAY for me! i think the sting become a viral infection like cold sore and Acyclovir really helped me to deal with my jellyfish sting. I hope this helps~!

April 5, 2010 at 3:40 pm
(38) susana says:

I just got stung yesterday by a man of war.I was located at the Atlantic beach.Anyway I was in the water with my sister and her boyfriend and her boyfriends brother and a friend of his.So you see that there was alot of people there that could help me right away.So there was alot of big or huge waves yesterday!The waves brought me close to shore where most of the jellyfish were brought by the waves.So a Huge wave came and thats when i felt a sting on my ankle.I was screaming help to my sister and friends.But as soon as I went to hold my foot I got another sting on my arm.I was yelling help again but my sister thought I was playing with her.So when she saw me crying her boyfriend and her came running to take me out of the water.They put me sitting down on the chair and and got some help from the life guard.The life gurd said I wasn’t allergic to it so I was fine.It would only sting thats all.And also he said that the venoum would travel around my body.But i would be fine.He put some vinegar on it and took the jelly off.Now today it’s swollen that’s all and it might start itching tomorrow.(becareful in the ocean it can be dangerous even on shore.)

April 12, 2010 at 5:51 pm
(39) Kaitie T says:

I was vactioning in virginia beach virginia and as I stuck my feet into the water , I felt very sharp pain on my foot and I think I got stung by a jellyfish , the pain hurt a lot and it made me Itch like crazy

May 4, 2010 at 11:08 pm
(40) Mark Leavitt says:

Real stories, real people, real pictures. Two stories featured in National Geographic Film, “Deadly Dozen II – Central America” from the web site.

Learn more at http://www.portuguesemanofwar.com.

“You have more things to worry about then sharks…”

June 14, 2010 at 11:43 am
(41) David Gelvin says:

I am a biology student/inventor with a compound that has a tremendous ability to remove envenomations from the bites or stings of spiders, mosquito, fireants, some wasps and hazardous plants.Offers to obtain jellyfish data would be very appreciated.

June 18, 2010 at 3:48 am
(42) Ken says:


Got stung by a jellyfish in the Philippines last June 13 2010 while having a night swimming. Was rushed to the hospital because almost 60 percent of my body was affected.Was injected with pain reliever and had antibiotic. it’s been 5 days now and the affected areas started to get really itchy which is very uncomforatble to the point that your sleep is affected. ny advice on how to get rid of the itching?

September 18, 2011 at 7:51 pm
(43) terrie says:

I was at myrtyle beach coming in from the ocean, when something stung me,its been about 5 days now and the itching is still bad. it’s like a thick raised rash, anyone have any idea what to do?

July 5, 2010 at 11:06 pm
(44) Lynnsey says:

I wish I read this artile before I got stung while at Vero Beach with my family riding the waves and it stung me twice a double threat ! But thank you for posting this so others will know what to do when stung by a jellyfish

July 17, 2010 at 8:10 pm
(45) Libby says:

My daughter was stung by a Portuguese Man O War she picked up off the beach at Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina. Had seen several washed up on the shore over the two week period we were there. Didn’t realize that was what it was. Thankfully she did not have a bad reaction. Apparently it “dripped” (her words) on her and stung her feet and legs. Gave her benadryl and rubbed it with meat tenderizer and vaseline. Seems to be okay so far. Any thoughts?

August 1, 2010 at 11:23 pm
(46) Jimmy says:

A couple years ago during the summer off Seabrook Island, SC where I live, I was “hit” by a jellyfish on my calf while swimming. I felt something wrap around my leg and had immediate burning pain. I was about 2 miles from the nearest house/condo or my car, so I had my buddy urinate on my calf. I had heard somewhere that was a quick neutralizer. My friend laughed the majority of the time that he was “treating” me, but it helped with the immediate pain. I still have a scar where it got me (about three inches long in a line like a tentacle would do) but now I always carry meat tenderizer with me to the beach. My buddy won’t get to do that again, even if he wanted to. Right now in the Charleston area we are having a jellyfish invasion; a local public beach where they usually treat 3 stings a week have had 300 stings in the last couple days. Ouch!

August 2, 2010 at 6:17 pm
(47) Maryam says:

Hi – last year I was swimming in a small cove in Cabo Pulmo an hour outside of Cabo Pulmo, when we went to swim back to the little Panga boat a Man O War stung the right lower side of my face. The most excrutiating pain I have ever had, I definitely had a bad reaction to it as the pain traveled through my body, my heart hurt and so did my lungs, it was extremely difficult to breathe. My husband after reading that freshwater was not the best for the wound put tequila on my face and it actually helped. I am worried that if I ever get stung again by a Man O War, will my body have an even more allergic reaction to the pain?

August 5, 2010 at 6:07 pm
(48) Kellie says:

I was stung all over my legs last week at Isle of Palms, SC and the stinging and welting of it seemed to clear up after just a couple days. But just yesterday it began itching like crazy, like many other people have said. The remedy that worked best for me was to make a paste out of crushed-up Maalox tablets and water, spread it on and let it dry. It looks kind of ridiculous, but it has cut the itch significantly better than other remedies like hydrocortosone and vinegar. Maalox antacids can neutralize acids as strong as hydrochloric acid; I think that’s why it’s able to neutralize the acid in the jellyfish “venom”. Hopefully this method will help others in pain!

August 6, 2010 at 9:29 am
(49) marcella says:

I was stung in HH South Carolina on 7/29, my daughter on 7/30. we assummed they were jellyfish as many others had been sting. Ours actually broke skin on contact and bled slightly. We did the immediate vinegar, sand, benadryll etc… 2-3 days all welts were gone minus the ones that beoke skin.

Exactly one week later for both of us we have massive redness and pinpoint lesions. Dermatologist believe man of war got us and we are on 10 day course of steroids and topical breams. No luck with relief yet. THEY LOOK AWFUL….

August 7, 2010 at 12:02 pm
(50) beth says:

My husband got stung on both feet last Friday while at Bull Island, near the Isle of Palms, SC.

He has had a delayed reaction. Itching has become unbearable and couldn’t sleep last night. He also had flu-like symptoms on Tuesday of this week. He was week, had muscle aches, low fever and was nausea. I had no idea until I googled this AM that these symptoms could be related to the jellyfish sting. We just assumed he had a virus.

He’s headed to Doctor’s Care now on a Saturday hoping for a Cortisone shot.

August 7, 2010 at 3:34 pm
(51) Wendy Brunson says:

We vacationed at Isle of Palms, SC in late July at Wild Dunes Resort. I was stung while swimming in the water on July 29th and it felt like my arm was electrocuted. I had five welp marks with small bumps around my wrist and a large circular red welp. I treated it with warm water, vinegar and ice. It was almost healed and gone then yesterday morning(August 6th) I woke up and my wrist was inflamed and extremely itchy again. I called my Dr. and he started me on antibiotics and said to use Benodryl cream. By the end of the day my wrists had worsened so I went in to an urgent care late that night. The Dr. who treated me had vacationed at Hilton Head last weeek and his wife and daughter were stung in the water on July 29th. They did not have a reaction like I did. He prescribed steroids and Benodryl tablets. I woke up in the middle of the night with unbearable itching and pain. Even today it is quite bothersome. I am hoping this medication is going to help. I start teaching kindergarten next week and need to be in good health.

August 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm
(52) christine says:

i was also stung by a jellyfish in hilton head, SC last week. For about 5 hours, it was one of the most painful experiences of my life. After reading this post, I realize I made some mistakes in treating it; such as spraying fresh water on it.5 days later, and the itching has begun.I’m not sure if this is normal reaction or if its because I put tile antibiotic cream on it. My other major concern, it that it doesn’t leave a scar, as it wraps entirely around my leg, 5 inches high in a zigzag pattern. Does it scar

August 8, 2010 at 5:50 pm
(53) Renee says:

July 30 HHI something wrapped it’s tenacles around both legs felt like a burning whip. Incredicle burn and pain for a couple of hours. Treated with vinegar within 15 minutes. Almost completely gone by the next day then 7 days later it began to get inflamed with large bumps that covered a larger area than I originally thought was effected. Benadryl by mouth doesn’t really seem to help me…just makes me tired. I am using a cortisone cream doesn’t help much either. I can’t stand for anything to touch the area not even light weight pants or a sheet. The hotter it goes the more inflamed it gets. It itches and hurts terribly…hoping for some relief soon! Found this site with mixed emotions…sorry so many people are going through the same thing but also relieved to here that it’s not just me!

August 8, 2010 at 6:00 pm
(54) Jennifer says:

I was stung Aug. 1, 2010 on Edisto Beach. It was a terrible burning sensation on both legs and 1 arm. Unfortunately, I ran out of the ocean and flushed with fresh water. After rinsing with vinegar, it seemed to get better. Here a week later, the redness, swelling and itching is so bad I went to the ER. The more reading I do, it looks to have been a man o war sting. I got an artisocort shot, Benadryl infusion, and 6 day methylprednisolone treatment. The itching subsided enough to sleep, but is back today. Hope the steroids kick in soon. I take claritin daily anyway, and now benadryl. Cortisone cream doesn’t really work. I have been soaking an ace bandage in salt water and wrapping the worst of the sting. It seems to help, temporarily. This is just crazy!!

August 8, 2010 at 8:46 pm
(55) kris says:

was stung in the ICW on boat trip to Beaufort 7/30, felt like my ankle was on fire but did not see what “got” me, was painful and looked bad then few days later intense itching set in waking me up at night, 9 days later now ithching is gone but it still looks horrible (size of a baseball raised bumpy redness)…is this going to go away or is it going to scarr???

August 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm
(56) taylor says:

i got stung by a jelly fish in the channel ma and my family were on a boat for five hours so we dicided to go swiming in the water so we went swiming so well i was swiming fine with out a care then all of a suden i felt my leg on fire and burning really bad we were ankerd down so my uncle left our anker and rushed the boat to us so we could get on and we put a towel on it and rushed back to the dock amiedintly and went to the drug store and got benagrill and somer itching cream.

August 10, 2010 at 3:54 pm
(57) Ramona Dooley says:

July 29 was stung bya jellyfish Tybee Island, I did not see it but hurt pretty bad. Poured vinger on it and rubbed it with the sand that the vinger had poured out on, pain went away in a couple of hours,11 days later it started hurting burning and itching feels like when your foot goes to sleep and you try to walk on it and it feels like needles sticking in it. I live in north GA so the Dr.’s here don’t know that much about it they were not very helpful at all!!! I’m glad to find this site to see that I’m not the only one that this is happening to. I hope that someone finds something that helps!!

August 10, 2010 at 4:47 pm
(58) Mark says:

I also got stung on Tybee Island. On Aug 2 I felt something wrap around my ankle and it burned like a jellyfish. They had jellyfish squish at the lifeguard stand and I sprayed it down and went on my merry way. Later that afternoon my wife saw a man-o-war in the water and we got out. I had linear lines of tiny red holes that almost disappeared until I played golf in the heat on 8/9. Now I have eruptions that itch like poison ivy. Benadryl gel works for a while but needs to be reapplied often. Hydrocortizone cream did not work as well. Good luck everyone.

August 11, 2010 at 3:17 pm
(59) LeeAnn says:

I was stung at Tybee on my legs on Aug 4 and last night, Aug 11, my legs suddenly developed a rash in the same shape as the original bites and it is making me crazy! My dr said to take Zrtec and Benadryl and the pharmacist said forget the Zyrtec, just take Benadryl and use cortisone cream mixed with a benadryl cream (I am using the publix generic brands). At first it made the rash welt up but the itch is slowly subsiding… This is not fun…

August 14, 2010 at 9:36 pm
(60) Ami says:

I was stung at Tybee on August 1, 2010. Was out a little ways from shore when I felt like I was tazed in the calf. When I made my way to shore there were whelps on my leg and my calf began to swell. The lifeguard where I was, offered little advice on how to treat the pain. It stung the rest of the day but was significantly better by the following day. exactly one week later the itching! The TERRIBLE, AWFUL itching! I am better now, only occasionally itching but the spot on my calf is still raised and appears to have scabbed. Will this scar? Just curious.

August 15, 2010 at 9:55 pm
(61) Anne Marie says:

My daughter was bitten by a man-o-war this past week in Pawley Island. As there is no lifeguard stand, we went to the Urgent Care. The Doctor was not in and they could not treat a child so they sent us down the road to another medical place. They were eating lunch and refused to treat her!! Meanwhile she was in such pain. We drove to the ER at the Hospital in Murrells Inlet. They put her whole leg in the hottest water she could stand. They then put vinegar patches on it, and told us to take shaving cream and use a stick or a credit card to swipe it across the leg to remove any stingers. She has been fine, except for the terrible welt marks. As someone mentioned nobody seemed to concerned as if it was an everyday occurance. We are from the North and thought this is something the Southern Beaches deal with. I must say I feel for anyone who gets stung, watching my daughter in pain was awful, but watching as these urgent care did nothing for a child was worse!!

August 15, 2010 at 11:27 pm
(62) Ben says:

I got stung recently on a trip to the Bahamas. This had happened to me before, so this time I vowed to be ready. Before I left I bought a new product recommended on the Leisure Pro website called Itch Off. On my first day out, unfortunately, I had occasion to use it. I have to say, I really didn’t expect it to work and was ready for the pain to last through the rest of my trip. AFter 30 seconds of spraying it on, I didn’t feel anymore pain and was able to forget about the sting for the rest of my trip! This stuff worked better than anything else I had ever used. I was really shocked. I just have to recommend it.

August 16, 2010 at 7:49 pm
(63) Marc says:

In reply to Ben’s message: By coincidence, I also found that Itch off on the Leisure Pro site and brought it with me to Spain. I was one of the lucky ones who got hit this weekend by the mass jellyfish attack and when I used Itch Off I couldn’t believe that I didn’t feel the sting anymore. Everyone around me was having a real hard time with it. Interesting that you should mention it on this forum.

October 29, 2011 at 2:43 pm
(64) Elia says:

And I assume you shared your wonderful product with them, right?

August 18, 2010 at 11:17 pm
(65) Kathy says:

While visiting Beach Colony Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC last Thursday, I was stung by a large jellyfish. Tentacles wrapped all around my leg. Very painful burning sensation for a couple of hours. Well, six days later, the sting marks became very red, itchy, and raised. The itching is horrible! I just took a couple of Benadryl and am using Hydrocortisone creme. It’s still itchy but not as bad. :-(

August 22, 2010 at 8:14 pm
(66) Heather says:

I took my children to Hilton Head this morning and as soon as we got in the water we were all attacked immediatly.. I had places all over my legs, arms, as well as back. (we counted 15 visible places) anyways the life guard told me to spray it down with the vinegar bottle she had so i sprayed all the kids down and myself as well. Well needless to say we left hilton head and went to tybee island were we enjoyed the rest of the day @ a peaceful beautiful beach.. with nothing attacking us!!.. well now that we are home.. im noticing that my son and i are blistering where we were “stung”… but after reading all this.. im hoping it doesnt get as bad as some have!!

August 25, 2010 at 11:38 pm
(67) David says:

I was in HHI the first week of August and got stung on the stomach by either a man of war or jellyfish. I was boogie boarding and while riding a wave got stung. Hurt pretty bad and left a nasty welt, I have muscle aches in my left arm off and on since the sting occurred. The redness went away and then came back a week later. I went to the doctor and they prescribed cortizone and told me to take benadryl. The pain still comes and goes.. From reading this blog it seems that it may have been a port.. man o war that got me.. Looking forward to this to get better soon.

September 3, 2010 at 3:42 pm
(68) David says:

Good news is that one month after the sting.. I finally feel better..

August 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm
(69) Anne says:

I was stung while visiting HHI on Aug. 21st. The lifeguard said it was a jellyfish sting and sprayed something on it, said it would go away in 15-20 minutes…did not go away but seemed to be geting better through the week. yesterday exactly one week after the sting, it became swollen, hot, and extremely itchy. It is on my leg, but is round and there are about 30 little punctures…at first they looked like they were filled with pus, now they are little round scabs and are all individually raised like brail. benedryl cream does not seem to be helping…wish i knew what it was an how long this will last…from reading above it seems that a lot of people have had this problem in the SC area…anyone find results yet?

August 30, 2010 at 5:59 pm
(70) Natalya says:

I was stung by a jellyfish at Myrtle Beach SC. The exact symptoms as the other described. After a week the burn became swollen and extremely itchy benadryl and hydrocortizon didn’t help much, I had to go to the doctor. He told me to try benadril at night and claritin during the day, however he was doubtful that it will help, so he prescribed 6 days pack of MethylPREDNISolone. The itch was so bad that I couldn’t give the antihistamines a better chance, I had to order prescription. The itch gradually diminished couple days after I started sterroids. I am on my fifth day now and it is almost gone, except the scurf, of cause, and some hardness in the stung area.

August 31, 2010 at 2:07 pm
(71) Amy says:

Same thing here but in Jacksonville beach on August 22, 2010. Here it is August 30 and I’m headed to the dr this afternoon. I have massive blisters on my right foot, a 4 inch section of burn on my left ankle with a 2 inch tentacle whip up the back on the calf, a 5 inch section on my left thigh and my entire left hand. Praying for some relief – it looks disgusting! I did find that aloe gel w/lidocaine in it helps the itch. Now if I could only get rid of the whelps.

Also Anne Marie – I worked in Urgent Care – most of the time there is NOTHING they can do because the dr’s are not pediatricians. You may think a body is just a body, but it’s not and you could easily poison a child if you’re not careful. You should be thankful they didn’t try to treat her and end up making her worse.

September 14, 2010 at 10:59 am
(72) Dan says:

I was stung pretty bad on both legs while in Isle of Palms, SC on 8/12. It hurt really bad the first day but was generally better after that. I didn’t really put much on it other than some Benadryl right after the sting.

As everyone else says, the following week, on 8/20 it began to itch VERY bad that I had a tough time sleeping. I went to the Walgreen’s doc-in-a-box and was prescribed the same steroid as Natalya, Methylprednisolone 4mg and some cream. I took the first six pills the following morning (it was late in the day and she said it might make me jumpy) and it immediately made a difference.

I only used the cream on the first day and didn’t need it after that. The steroids were only $7 or $8 (it was a generic) so I highly recommend it for anyone. Of course, there is a chance the itch would have gone away on it’s own earlier than the 6 days of steroids I took, but I would take this route again.

Best of luck for everyone!

September 15, 2010 at 11:14 pm
(73) Danielle says:

Stayed in Myrtle Beach, SC, I got stung on my leg twice second time ‘it’ left blisters!! I’m from ohio and I have neverbeen to the ocean befor last week! From what I have read from many of u it seems that a Man-of-war? Has stung me? I have had ssame problems with the welts going away than returning a week later only to b very itchy n painful but why can’t I stop itching? Lol! Nothing is workin or going to I have the feeling!! I will tell u though if I had a dime for every time I had someone tell me they would have pee’d on me I would b rich!! Lol I’m jus glad it wasn’t my daughter that is only 4! The morning I got stung there was atleast 12 others :( ! I guess u take chance on that when swim’n in open waters, probible the least of my worries! Its just scary to think what u swim’n with! Thanks for reading, if n e one finds something that really works n makes this itchy red , feverish welts go away or atleast not so itchy let me know!!;)

September 17, 2010 at 9:05 pm
(74) lynn says:

stung 8-2-10 in hilton head after 5 days developed red whelps w/blisters hydrogen peroxide and an after bite pen from drug store helped even though it burned but did help 2 weeks from sting went to dr and was given a steroid cream that really helped six weeks later don’t have to treat but has left red marks and white spots guess it will fade w/time AWFUL!!

September 19, 2010 at 10:06 pm
(75) anna says:

I was also stung at myrtle beach on 9/8. It was huge.
It landed right in my crotch area, its stingers wrapped around both of my thighs and the pain was excrutiating! when I dislocated it, it then wrapped itself around both of the backs of my hands. I finally dislodged it but never got a look at it. I do know it was probably 7 inches in circumference. I did everything the lifeguard said, got relief for about a week and then everything swelled up, became hot and itchy. I went to the doctor and got 500 mg of cipro twice a day and 20mg of steroid twice a day. after 3 days it is just starting to get better. I thing you have what i had they called it a secondary infection and can be very dangerous. please seek medical attention!


October 11, 2010 at 3:13 am
(76) Missy says:

Do you know the name of the round completely clear jellyfish that is in the bottom picture. Saw a bunch just like them in pcb florida and it didn’t look like the pics of the moon jellyfish that I find on the web. It didn’t have the four clover looking shapes in the middle. We actually thought it was a breast pad that are put in suits for women that have had a mastectomy. There wasn’t any defining characteristics. Since we found more in the water we knew it was some sort of jellyfish

November 15, 2010 at 11:22 pm
(77) AJ says:

I got stung by a “man-o-war” (I’m guessing) in Mazatlan last week, it hurt worse than I thought it would. I used Vinegar and then not knowing what to do I put ice on it (and consumed a lot of alcohol) I felt the ice helped as it numbed my foot. Now a week later, like most of you, the wound is swelling and itching like crazy. I hear a lot of you going on antibiotics but I just put Polysporin on it and it feels great. Swelling has gone down and itching is gone, you do have to reapply every once in a while but it’s better than the crazy itching and it doesn’t sound like the Dr’s remedies are any better. Hope this helps.

December 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm
(78) lauren klien says:

My friends and I were all stung pretty badly at Tybee Beach, GA this year. The lifeguards sprayed us with something in an orange bottle, Jellyfish Squish (they said that it contained Lidocaine?). Anyway, all of the pain stopped in about 2 or three minutes. They must have sprayed hundreds that day, alone. The lifeguards said that I could buy it in Walgreens, Walmart and some beach stores. We couldn’t find it in Walmart but did find some in Walgreens. Well worth the 10 bucks!!

January 17, 2011 at 11:00 am
(79) lakeeriemom says:

I can tell you that I will NEVER step foot into the ocean again. First and last time ever snorkling. No one ever told me not to snorkle in shallow water. DO NOT SNORKLE IN SHALLOW WATER! I had tentacles wrapped from my ankles, legs, waist, neck and face. Giving birth wasn’t as painful. The cruise ship doctor injected me with morphine 3 times & bathed me in vinegar, then wrapped me in vinegar soaked towels. The pain got worse before it got better. 2 months later I would get some sort of residual stinging in my ankle that was covered in tentacles. I will never forget the pain. I couldn’t sleep, eat or shower. Fresh water felt like acid was being poured on my body. NEVER SNORKLE IN SHALLOW WATER!!!

February 7, 2011 at 10:29 am
(80) jason says:

It depends on which jelly fish.
the box jelly fish is very bad. The toxins literally explode the red blood cells. The toxins also attack the nervous system and the toxins also can cause paralysis. If stung badly by a box jelly fish you can die as all three toxins can lead to a massive heart attack. There is NO known antidote. Get to hospital quick.

You need to know which type of jelly fish before giving out advice as to what to do as some of the advice given will most certainly make matters worse.

February 12, 2011 at 7:39 am
(81) jjones says:

I got stung by a man-o-war at Jaco, Costa Rica, many, many years ago and the treatment prescribed then was CALOMINE LOTION — applying and reapplying several times a day. I had no access to benadryl or cortisone or other meds mentioned above but lucky for me, the calomine lotion was very effective

March 28, 2011 at 6:10 am
(82) Susie says:

I was in the shallow sea at Byron Bay near the Gold Coast in Australia 6 days ago and got attacked by several man-of-war. The pain was like hundreds of red hot pokers being stuck into both my lower legs. I knew not to rub the skin so found some cold fresh water and doused my legs in it. The pain was instantly calmed as long as I kept the water on my legs. After 2 hours the pain had gone. 18 hours later my legs became very itchy and large red marks appeared where the tentacles had wrapped themselves round my legs. I immediately took an antihistomine tablet which calmed the itching for a while. However, it has not gone away and every now and then I just have to scratch and scratch which has released so much pus, I have taken to wearing long socks to suck it all up! I tried gel designed for stings and bites which gave a few minutes relief but was not very effective. I’m taking the antihistomine tablets every 24 hours which help lessen the itching a bit. I have read all the comments posted on here with interest and also researched man-of-war…and the worst thing you can do is to put cold water on the initial sting – is that why I have come out in a rash with severe itching?

April 9, 2011 at 12:12 am
(83) Brian Gladney says:

I heard of this new drug called canoman. You take this drug and you instantly toughen up so the biggest jelly fish sting doesnt hurt anymore. Come on People, It is a JELLYFISH! Yes, I have been stung several times. No need to run to the hospital and overcrowd the ER. Toughen up out there and just pour some vinegar on it and dont use the fresh water, Use sea water.

April 19, 2011 at 1:56 am
(84) Bobbie says:

I was stung as a kid 3 times by man-o-war. The last was very bad and wrapped around my neck on down. By the time my Dad got me out of the water I was in shock. I ran a horrible fever, got all these welts and had a cough that left me coughing up blood. It was horrible. This was on the island of Oahu where I lived as a girl.

I was so sick. It felt like I coughed forever my chest hurt so bad and I seam to be kinda sickly after that for a bit.

I am firmly convinced if my father was not with me at the time which he usually was not (surfing) I would of died.

April 27, 2011 at 7:50 pm
(85) Aisha says:

My 9 year old accidentally caught a man of war in Miami Beach on April 19th. It only got his thumb. Everything that we were not supposed to do, vinegar, fresh water, etc, the paramedics told us to do! Well fast forward a week and not only has his thumb welted up, but the rest of his body is breaking out in a rash. We just got in from the urgent care center and they told us benadryl and hydricotisone. I read all of the above and realize we are gonna have treat the symptoms and tough it out. *SIGH*

June 1, 2011 at 3:06 am
(86) jack mehoff says:

ive been stiddle stung many times i normally pee on my hand and wipe it on the sting another great remedy is spit from chewing tobacco the bits of chew get in sting and cancel out the venom just like wet sand diddle does ive been stung so much i grew an immunity i believe is that mmk?

June 15, 2011 at 9:56 am
(87) TRACY says:

I was stung last summer in Galveston Texas. I was in shallow water and I thought it was sea weed , I later realized it was a jellyfish, because it was stinging. I went out of the water and did not touch it at all. About 2 hours later it was fine, gone and there was no problems. I did not apply anyting, I just left it alone. I did not know what to do so I just left it alone. It must be right because its gone.

July 10, 2011 at 10:50 pm
(88) Jess says:

After reading everyones comments about SC I may never go back! My husband and I were on vacation in HHI on July 1st and I was stung by multiple jellyfish. The lifeguard sprayed me down with the vinegar water which helped a little. It looked like I had a million little blisters as they got me from top to bottom on both legs :( After we got back to the hotel I put some benedryl on it, woke up the next morning and it looked and felt so much better. My only complaint was the red marks it left but the pain was gone so I was happy. Yesterday, exactly one week later, they have swollen up and are insanely itchy. Unfortunately I’m pregnant so I can’t use anything more than topical benedryl. I didn’t get a chance to see what got me, but after reading everyone elses posts I’m wondering if it was a man of war!

July 26, 2011 at 7:54 am
(89) Jessica says:

So I got stung about a week ago I was at shore with my family when I felt this terrible pain when I came out of the water the jellyfish was still around my leg.finally we got it off but the pain just got worst my whole leg got paralice my lips got swollen imediately one of the guys there said he was an expert and washed it with fresh water,and put windex and said it was gonna be better in 30 but the pain just got worst so finally we had to go to the ER I had avdominal pain,back pain,nausea and it was hard for me to breath after about 24 hrs the pain when away I didnt feel anything till a day ago my leg is so inchy and swollen it keeps me up at night helpp any ideass ??

July 31, 2011 at 5:47 am
(90) Alan Kravetz says:

I suspected I’d been stung by a man o’ war yesterday. So, after reading all the comments on how awful it will likely get within a week, I decided to take a preemptive trip to the doctor. The doctor told me it was great that I came in the day after I’d been stung even though I was not at all symptomatic. I had the welts, but no itching or burning or “hell”, yet.

He suggested an immediate $100 steroid injection in my butt followed up with a full course of topical antibiotic cream to put directly on my affected areas.

The (uninsured) trip to the doctor cost $200. So, after ~$50 for antibiotics, I hope that for $250 I’ll be able to avoid the misery you all went through.

Thank you all for your collective experiences on this matter. It was (and may continue to be) VERY helpful.

August 4, 2011 at 9:19 pm
(91) Gail says:

I was stung by a man-o-war when I was 12. Our camp leader packed my leg in sand and this worked very well!

August 6, 2011 at 11:25 pm
(92) paige says:

i went to my dads house in hilton head island south carolina july 22-aug.1st.i was very cautious about getting in the water.but i took my chances and dint get stung thankgod! my dads been swimiing 1000′s of times and have never been stung his girlfriend on the other hand has.it also depends on water temerature how bad they are.if the waters warm they come to shore alot more.you just have to take that chance of getting stung i guess.i always would watch the life guard to see if anyone was running up to get sprayed with vinegar because of a sting that would make up my mind wether i was going to get in.and as for sharks i never saw one while swimming,but im sure they were all around! im going again in september pray that i can make it another time with no stings! lol

August 8, 2011 at 9:50 pm
(93) Steve Jacobs says:

I was at fripp island in sc and got stung by what appeared tone a jellyfish. I did not see it but pulled the gelatinous tentacles off my chest. The pain was immediate and burned for about an hour. I applied urine to the sting but that did not appear to have much effect. I have now read maybe vinegar would have been the best choice. Regardless here is what you need to know. You will probably develop an itchy swollen rash in the area of your sting about a week later. I did and went to the doc today. This is caused by what is called a “delayed hypersensitivity” reaction. This is common with things like a sting from a jellyfish or a bad case of poison ivy, etc. Bottom line: go see a doc and get a rx for a steroid and you will be seeing a reduction in symptoms within 6-8 hours. Hope this helps. My experience has been quite more than what I expected… Good luck!

August 9, 2011 at 12:05 pm
(94) Katie says:

I got stung really bad last week and I still have the marks on my legs. It’s really itchy. I was told that i got the man of war and when I got stung I got really dizzy and really hot. I jsut need help to get rid of the marks and also what I can do to make it stop itching. HELP please…..

August 11, 2011 at 12:16 am
(95) mimi says:

I got stung on both legs last Wednesday in Hilton Head SC- OMG the pain was unreal – as I ran out of the water, I actually checked to see if I was bleeding-it hurt so bad I thought a shark bit me! (It was shark week after all). Put seawater and rubbed it with sand. It stung for an hour or two but pain went away with a benadril and ice packs and left marks on each leg. Guess what? Yep- today, 1 week later, the VERY itchy blisters have arrived! Put in a call to the emergency room at HHI hospital and spoke to a nurse who said it is unfortunate but totally normal and to take oral benadrils and it will go away in a few days. will get some tomorrow. When I came home from work today the stings was actually pulsing- I wiped them with hot water and applied vinegar which I had not done before. it helped and seemed to tighten up the blisters. I thought I had gotten bit by jellyfish before, but apparently not. This is unbelievable. Ouch and now itch :(

August 22, 2011 at 8:03 pm
(96) kray says:

I was at HHI on August 14th and was stung around my right leg..it hurt but went away after putting on jellyfish spray and taking benedryl. A week later, I now have itchy legs where it wrapped around my leg. Not happy! I am glad that others have experienced the same thing and will go to the doctor if it doesn’t get better. It is nice to know that it is normal.

August 26, 2011 at 7:48 am
(97) kray says:

The benedryl and cortizone cream worked great. In two days it was much better and only itches a little once in a while. It is now five days later and I don’t need to use the cream or benedryl.

August 11, 2011 at 11:05 pm
(98) Jaime says:

I got stung so badly by a Portguese Man-O-War in Deerfield Beach, Florida. At first the pain was unbearable and I thought it was a dream. Then the lifeguard came over pulled the tentacles of my hands and soaked them in vinegar. It burned so badly. I began to get dizzy and eventually passed out. The vinegar didn’t help and I soaked my hands in the sink with freshwater (OOPS) which just made it hurt even more. This happened during spring break and now where I got stung, it appears to be coming back and it hurts. What should I do??

August 12, 2011 at 12:21 pm
(99) Robert says:

need help, I was lobstering in islamorada in the keys and I wa snorkeling getting dragged behind a boat and I was dragged through 3 fields of jellyfish (large pink bells with 4 leaf clover looking things on them 1 ft in diameter) and the pain was extremely bad. intolerable. anyway now the day after my whole body is covered in welts (including face and head) and they are red raised itchy as heck welts. what do I do????

August 15, 2011 at 11:44 am
(100) Nicole says:

I was at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina last week and waves hit me. I thought a jellyfish had brushed up against me but after reading other comments I think it may have been a man o war. It didn’t hurt that bad but it was still painful. After I got stung I did the initial treatment of burn relief spray and allergy tablets and the red bumps went away within a day. Today however, the red bumps are back and itchy. I put things like calamine lotion, burn relief spray, and vinegar water. Not so itchy anymore but the bumps aren’t gone. When will they go away???

August 15, 2011 at 12:23 pm
(101) Anne says:

The bumps do go away, but it may take a few days. Also, some people get the bumps back again after a few weeks. After that they usually are gone for good.

August 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm
(102) Ella says:

My daughter, niece and I all got stung in Holden Beach Thursday 11 August. I had a zap on my arm and I thought I saw a dark shape speed over my arm at that time. My brother thinks the ‘dark shape’ could have been a fish the jelly fish or man-o-war was carrying. My daughter was in a raft and started screaming that she had a “net” around her legs. My niece, about 5 feet away, got only 2 tiny stings on the backs of her legs. A week later my daughter started itching unbearably, and then yesterday I too started itching. Upon returning to the UK the GP gave my daughter antibiotics to stop infection (her scratching was making it worse but she is only 6 years old, she couldn’t stop scratching), antihistamines and an aqueous cream. Can they give children steroids? She seems a little better this evening but now my arm is itching and looks much worse than when it happened. The patterns on her legs are similar to man-o-war stings, though no one was paralysed or had any fever or other symptoms, only pain, followed by itching a week later. Initial treatment was vinegar and baking soda. In the the UK we have “After Bite” ammonia stick, which I FORGOT to the take to the US. Last summer the After Bite stopped a Weever Fish sting. Great stuff I could feel it neutralising the poison from the Weever Fish. They didn’t have anything like that stick in the US.

September 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm
(103) Linda says:

I recently encountered “sea lice,” or more accurately, the larvae of thimble jellyfish, while surfing at South Padre Island. There was an abundance of them due to a tropical disturbance. I was exposed on 9/4/2011 and developed a rash a few days later. Now, 10 days later, I still have small, 1-2mm, blistering spots on my arms, hands, legs, and feet, with several other spots on my back. They look very similar to chicken pox, and my physician and I are both curious about the length of time these lesions last. I’m currently on an oral steroid, as the itching is unbearable, as well as benadryl and Zantac (my dr. explained that it actually blocks a receptor responsible for allergic responses). Any comments/ideas about how long this ugly stuff lasts?? I’m having a hard time finding definitive research on this particular type of jellyfish sting.

October 9, 2011 at 11:05 pm
(104) Jan says:

I got stung on Sunday by a Man-o-war over by Bellows Kaneohe (there are a lot of them there for some reason), it got me on both calves. The sting hurt at first and after about 20 minutes got slightly better, by evening completely felt fine. One week later, the welts got worse, more itching and it now appears a slight rash developed all over my legs. I feel a little relieved after reading these comments that this seems to be a common reaction but why is there no research on why it happens and how to combat it? I hope this won’t take the months that was mentioned above.

October 16, 2011 at 12:10 pm
(105) Gene says:

My Wife and I were stung by Jellyfish in Philippines swiming at iow tide at night. I moistened chewing tobacco with spit and put it on stings held in place with bandage gause and tape. This worked very well. It also works for scorpion and Wasp stings. I was given this treatment by an old apache in Arizona in the 1970s.

December 22, 2011 at 6:57 am
(106) Mirella says:

well, yesterday I was swimming doing snorkeling in Key West and when I was going to the boat I saw a very thin blue line. It touched my lips and I felt electricity coming to my body. I was very scared and tried to take it away but the more I tried the more it was in my body, it was sticking so fast. Once I got to the boat, my friends took some vinegar and took all the dots I had in my body. It was REALLY painful thet kept pouring vinegar in all the affected areas. After two hours I felt much better and next day I feel no pain, however I have some horrible scars in my leg and stomack and they say it lasts for a month. I am using scar gels. Hope I feel better.
If you are in the sea swimming, doing snorkling, I would certainly recommend not to go very far or stay around the boat so for any circumstance you can stay safe right away. If you see any jellyfish, don’t be scared just go away. A good idea is to wear pantyhose and of course if these creatures touch you pour a lot of vinegar on the affected areas and take the tentacles out with a credit car or sth similar =D

January 11, 2012 at 8:06 pm
(107) oscar says:

i was stung by a man of war and ignored it and i was fine the hole day true story

January 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm
(108) Trouver Hotel La Rochelle says:

Thanks a lot for sharing this with all people you actually recognize what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also discuss with my site =). We can have a link exchange agreement among us

January 17, 2012 at 7:26 am
(109) Khin says:

I was stung by Jellyfish last week and sometime past years a plankton… I know it’s really itchy and irritating but at first is try to stop the secretion of Venom either by applying Vinegar to affected areas, and salt water. Don’t ever rub it. .. to lessen the itchiness and infection — use or apply heat either hot compress or a heater or dryer. Exposed the affected areas with heat as often as ya can. This will burn or destroy the venom inside since heat penetrates your skin and it’ll be gone not that long.. It’s very effective and ya can do it now not try. It works for me even now. . .

January 19, 2012 at 7:21 am
(110) kate says:

well, im 14, going to an island with my bestfriend without an adult. this island is very popular & plenty of people are always around (very friendly). However, our mums think we are only going to the popular beach, which we are but also planning on going to a private secluded beach, where there is no one around to help us if we need it. to get to this beach is a 3km walk from the bus stop down rocky terrain. so if anyone has got any tips on what to take (first aid) all comments welcomed!

January 24, 2012 at 3:34 am
(111) KC says:

For my portuguese man-of-war sting, heat was the only thing that actually helped the pain go away. Ice helps only while you’ve numbed the site, but a heat compress makes the pain actually subside. I had a pretty small sting on my ankle, it broke the skin and I had terrible pain. After icing it for 8 hrs, I finally tried heat and the worst pain was gone in 10 minutes. One month later I had a bubbly rash appear at the site that itched like crazy, lasted about a week. It itched so much I just popped all of the bubbles in a hot shower and then treated the weepy rash, after it scabbed over it stopped itching. I think it was just my body finally expelling the poison. After a year, I now get similar bubble rashes popping up on my arms and legs, only a few bubbles at a time, and itching, not sure if it’s from the initial sting, can’t figure out this random rash thing, but it’s just like the rash I got after a month but smaller and spread out.

January 25, 2012 at 9:28 pm
(112) Ruth Geurink says:

On Jan. 23&24,2012 we saw alot of these on the shore at Panama city beaches in Florida. Fortunately we did not touch them. Your information was very interesting and helpful.

February 1, 2012 at 3:17 pm
(113) Brenda says:

Was stung by a man of war at 15. Great lifeguards in Bermuda packed me in baking soda and meat tenderizer paste on the affected arm. Was still sent to the hospital for detox from poison and to have the tentacles removed, but their quick action probably saved me and certainly helped with the damage to my arm from the stings.

February 10, 2012 at 11:52 am
(114) Jacqui says:

Got stung by Mar o War when i was in Cuba i thought when i seen a shell i thought it look really pretty but i guess the jellyfish was in the shell i had no idea intell it stung me on the hand .. It hurt so bad i had to go right to the doctors they gave me a pill cause at the ponit of time they had know idea what i got stung from ?? Then they gave me some cream to take away the pain of just like my hand was on fire it was so painful i will never for get lol it happend at the being on our trip and when i came home i went to the doctors they said i was fine my hand still hurt up to 8 days after my is fine now but the skin on my hand flacking off just where i got stung but the doctor said it maybe just dry skin from keeping my hand in the ocean water i fine the help the best i walked around with cups of ocean water in it Do Not Use Fresh Water it will make it burn more lol Oh and one other thing Watch Out For Mar o Wars In The Ocean In CUBA .. It is a beautiful place there the beaches are just so Beautiful i like everything about cuba but besides the Mar o Wars there i had my family there and my 3 yr old son there if he was the one that picked up that shell it would have been him getting stung they did put up a red flag after i got stung no one was allowed to go to the beach intell they cleaned it all up so they are good that and i thnk them for looking and they did fine it and it was dead but they can still stung when they are dead … Thank everyone for helping me out it was awesome :)

February 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm
(115) Kevin Harris says:

Been stung by Man o war or blue bottles plenty while surfing . Today I got a few stings across my forearms , and bearable as usual. However at the end of my surf one got me on my small finger of my left hand. This was excruciating and felt like 20 bees at once. Left blue residual on my finger. Withing ten minutes of getting out the pain went to my glands under my arm and the entire arm was sore. I felt chest pain and nausea . Went home and soaked in hot water , but still felt bad. Pharmacy suggested I get a anti hystamine shot , but while waiting at the doc , pain subsided and felt a little better ( Probably about an hour after the sting) , Took anti hystamine orally and still inflamed on finger but feeling OK now .

Are some bluebottles more poison than others??

February 28, 2012 at 11:41 am
(116) Ralph Quaranta says:

Well, I’m at the beach right now , and I just popped a man o war and o think it got on me
everytime what should I do it doesn’t hurt but I have no idea like I popped the blue bubble.

March 4, 2012 at 1:48 pm
(117) liz says:

yetserday i was at the beach and i picked up the man o war (im 12) thinking it was a dead jellyfish i started feeling pain in diffferent parts of my body. i kept touching the tentacles and it would wrap around me but i thought it coincidentally happened. after a few minutes of pain it would turn into a rash and welts. i started feeling pain on my lips chin etc. and it spreaded into my eye i couldnt see for 15 to 30 minutes its very painful. your eyes are teary and swollen. plus there was a lot o wind and a lot of sand go ino my eye.
there are many man o wars at the beach i go to. the transparent one i have picked up many times. i never knew it was a jellyfish!

March 26, 2012 at 11:37 am
(118) trikytrake says:

water also works (warm or cold)

April 4, 2012 at 11:46 pm
(119) Samantha Embry says:

My sister was stung by a man of war today she didn’t believe me when I told her what to do but then I showed her this article. Thanks alot.

April 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm
(120) keven says:


but a man-of-war almost stung my little sister so i have to read this :)

April 24, 2012 at 7:27 am
(121) Susie says:

Update following my comment in March 2011 after being stung by the Man O War in Australia, the following day I developed flu-like symptons which lasted for several days, the itching and pus on my legs lasted for three weeks and the welts lasted for four months then just disappeared with no scarring.

April 25, 2012 at 10:29 pm
(122) Valerie McBee says:

We use ammonia. My son had one get stuck in his life jacket and he was welted everywhere. We pored ammonia on him and it helped a lot. We keep a bottle on our boat when we go scalloping. Urine would help also like others said but I will stick to my ammonia. :)

April 29, 2012 at 11:39 am
(123) TybeeRockClimber says:

Got stung by a jelly in Tybee a few years ago and I still have marks. My arms, legs, and part of my feet were beet red for about 3 days…no, I wasn’t sunburned. Have no idea what I was stung by, to me it felt like seaweed. I was boogie boarding and slipped-probably hit the jfish coming down.

It truly sucks!

May 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm
(124) Marilyn says:

Was stung on my arm by jellyfish larvae in Cuba at the end of January – very painful and itchy and took about a month to clear up. SInce then I’ve had really itchy and painful hives all over my body. I never had hives before so I’m wondering if this is the jellyfish venom still travelling around my body causing the hives. Any thoughts on this would be really appreciated.

May 24, 2012 at 10:32 am
(125) T.L.Rowland says:

Last summer I was severly stung at Tybee Island, the tenicles wrapped around both thighs.This had to be a man of war,had my son not been there to help me out I think that monster would have dragged me out to sea.My legs soon looked like I had been beaten w/a hot clothes hanger. None of the old remedies used when I was a kid seem to work , I keep a kit in my bag. I was very nauseated,kept trying to pass out. After I got stablized and thinking clearly,we left.The pain was horrible itch and burn and sting.Several days w/no relief,I had my son put NEW SKIN liquid bandage on there YES! FINALLY!!! As soon as it started healing, repeat of pain,I even had fever. Soon,I was covered w/chronic idiopathic urticaria (hives) all over my legs, the dermotologist tried every thing,the hives stayed off and on for over 8 months.My body went haywire sending antihistimimines so the condition was finally taken care of when I was persistant about doin research on the matter at MAYO clinic website and UCLA. Finally I am back to normal and its summer again.I mixed vinegar,baking soda,Accent seasoning,Maylox into a paste it helped a little. I guess I won’t be in the water at Tybee after JUNE since my sons say I am a jellyfish magnet.

June 2, 2012 at 9:40 pm
(126) Koki Lumacang says:

i was caught by a sting jellyfish while swimming in the beach (philippines).
this is my ever first time that i encountered such creature as in through my skin literally and because i didint know anything and due to the pains i feel my friend rub it with the sand.
i was not sure what the treatment was but somebody told me to wash it with vinegar.
its already been a week and i am still suffering the pains in my left arms.
so disapointing since i did not enjoyed my summer because of it. very itchy comes to the point that i cannot sleep.

found ur article and thanks a lot.it is so very informative.
i did apply some of ur advices and aomehow it eases the pain.
i might also to see a doctor for proper medications.

June 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm
(127) clady says:

Urine can take away tha pain of a jelly fish sting, we went to tha beach and my friend lil boys got stung so they peed in a cup and poured it on tha stung and it worked 100% …using ur own natural remedy can save u faster from tha pain because ppl dnt bring those other items to tha beach anyway.

June 4, 2012 at 8:18 pm
(128) Hawaii says:

What Clady (127th post) says. It’s easy and simple. All you have to do is PEE on it. It’s common sense here in Hawaii and instant relief. Less likely to experience DAYS of swelling and itchiness. Jelly Fish is different. I don’t think our natural remedy is good enough for a Jelly Fish Sting.

June 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm
(129) Hawaii says:

*Some Jelly Fish. I guess it depends on what Jelly Fish you’re stung by. Good luck. I’d rather get stung by a man o’ war than a jelly fish though. I just got stung last Saturday and unluckily i was not able to pee on it. My brother offered but i wasn’t sure if he was serious. It was a public beach and there were a lot of people. lol So now i’m stuck with itchiness that i wish i could scratch like crazy but can’t. I’ll probably keep peeing on it, every time i take a shower, till it goes away. Just a thought. haha

June 25, 2012 at 10:49 pm
(130) Mandy says:

My son got stung by a jelly fish today. ( close to SANDY BEACH St. Lucia) I saw him crying and run towards him, when i arrived, “i didn’t know what to do”, so i pulled a blue stuff off his finger with my bare hand. I am also checking to see if there will be any bad sign.

Please God, I pray that we will be OK. I am now rubbing it with hydrogen peroxide

Thanks for the tip……………

July 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm
(131) TybeeRockClimber says:

So earlier in the year I commented, not even thinking that just last week on vacation, I would get stung not only once, but twice. The first time–last Sunday–was on my foot, and the only thing that got me out of the water was the crab that sliced my ankle. Had that crab not pinched me, I wouldn’t have been able to treat the sting until an hour or so after. The next time I got stung–last Tuesday or Wednesday–was all over my legs, and I could feel myself being stung this time. It felt like electric barbed–no pun inteneded–wire, and there were–still are–whip-like marks, I’m sure I’ll have scars.

Now, my foot is very itchy and splotchy, and my legs are itchy as well. I have pictures on my blog The Book Files, just look at the older posts. I’ll upload pictures of my foot on the blog soon…

If anyone can I.D. Either of the jellies, I’d appreciate it very much–just please do it on the blog commenting system, and comment on “Attack of the sea life” or “And the jellyfish strikes again”.


July 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm
(132) TybeeRockClimber says:

Update: I was at the Tybee Island beach, between lifeguard stations 17 and 18…A few others got stung, but they didn’t put the purple flag up. I love Jellyfish Squish, except you have to spray it on every two hours or so for the pain to really subside. The reason I got stung was partly my fault, since I went out during high tide so I could catch some waves while boogie boarding with some roommates.

July 15, 2012 at 11:09 pm
(133) levi anderson says:

hay i got a man o war sting about a year ago and i herd that if u put viniger on it it helps but i did not have eny vineger so i put musterd on the spot.

Heres the story……

i was at galviston and i was playing in the water with my brothers
and i see someting flouting and i was geten closer to see wut
it was and it was a man o war so i was going away from it and
a wave came an pushed it tords me and i got sung on my tumy and it hert so i was runing back to shor and my dad was like wuts
rong and i was stung by a man o war he was like i need viniger and we didnt have eny so thes people next to u wer having hotdogs and thay had musterd and that has musterd in it so i asked them for some and thay wer like ya i put it on the spot 1 hour later i felt beter..

WARNING: Man o war stings ounce u get it
u can barly breath thank u

lick me on facebook and here the whole story

p.s my facebook pic i have a blue shert on

July 22, 2012 at 11:05 pm
(134) Cici says:

I got stung out at Tybee Island, GA on July 11th. It was around high tide. I was in the water and all of the sudden it felt like a round brush with the bristles hit the back of my lower leg at like 100 miles an hour. I felt like I couldn’t walk and my son starting pulling me in. I walked slowly as we got closer to shore. It stung so bad. I sat down and rubbed sand on it over and over. It was raised and red. I walked to the pier area, (I had been at the 17th St beach). It felt very good to move and use the leg When I stopped walking it would hurt. I rested on the beach for about 30 mins, rubbed more dry sand on it, and then I got back in the water. After being in for about 30 mins I felt fine.

Only prob is on the back of my leg I still have the dotted horrible looking marks. Looks just like someone whipped my leg real good with that round brush and the mark stayed . . . I had slight itching for a few days after, nothing bad. But I really want the scar to go away.

August 6, 2012 at 4:23 am
(135) BoboPNA says:

At HHI yesterday and felt like Barbed wire cut through my calf…initially noticed two bluish-purple markings…then turned into this nasty looking rash about 8″ wide

August 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm
(136) Girl! says:

I got stung by a jellyfish about 5 years ago (4th grade) I was at Hawaii and this itty bitty little blue jellyfish -not a war man though

And I did the exact opposite haha they put a bottle of water on my foot, it stung sooo much that these couples on a trip heard me from far and thought that I was being abducted or something :p
We saw this lady and she said to either pee on it or put vinegar…. I didn’t pee on it (nasty!)
But if u have nothing just pee on it!

August 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm
(137) Sarah says:

Same story as many others, stung by a Jelly a week ago and now experiencing intense itch. I have been trying different remedies but the only one that seems to help is Sarna anti itch lotion.

September 2, 2012 at 9:33 am
(138) Karmen says:

Got hit at HHI, SC August 22….been doing all the home remedies, steroid, tetanus on 31st as my “sting” marks re-inflamed at this point. I am ready to just amputate my own leg. I am a nurse and all of my physician friends have done everything to help me, to no avail. Would just like to see a small light at the end of this tunnel. The initial pain of the sting was not nearly as bad as the “feeling like I could claw my own skin off” now and the hemorrhagic appearance that gives me the strongest feeling it is going to be a horrible scar. Benadryl, Cortisone, SoluMedrol, topicals (OTC and Prescription strength), Lidocaine Gel…alternating heat/ice. Nothing seems to be relieving it yet.

September 7, 2012 at 3:20 pm
(139) Christine says:

My daughter got stung on her arm last Saturday and the life guard sprayed something on her and used a tongue depressor. Her arm appeared to be getting better and she didn’t complain until today(almost a week later) and I noticed multiple raised red marks were she had been stung. They are more notable today. what is best now we are far away from salt water?

October 19, 2012 at 8:16 pm
(140) Dan says:

Calcium Chloride

October 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm
(141) Mac says:

I was recently on holiday in Ibiza when I was stung by two jellyfish under my armpit and one on my knee .my knee was fine just a bit red but my arm was a different story my arm doubled in size and the pain was unbearable and there was no life guard on duty so I had to wonder in to cafe and ask for some vinegar this took the edge off the pain.

For the rest of the week my arm was fine but when I came home my arm was intching and was red raw it has been a week since the sting and it is still inching a
nd catching on my clothes

Does any one know how to stop the itching ?

December 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm
(142) Jack says:

I got stung by a man of war and huge bumps were every where and my hand swelled up an inch tall!!! sting marks where every where and they where from my leg up to my shoulder plus the stinger cut thoo my skin!!!

February 10, 2013 at 3:20 am
(143) Steph says:

I got stung by a man-o-war today but I’m not sure how long it was on shore and my friends put vinegar and applyed baking soda with water until dry then took it off with a credit card, and it stung a little at first, but you apply then reapply after three times it started looking better and hasn’t itched. I hope it stays this way and my red marks and reaction cleared up.

February 18, 2013 at 3:57 pm
(144) Anne says:

Friend lightly stung in Sayulita MX – on one elbow and back of leg – did not see what stung her but assume a jellyfish tentacle. (tentacles are often broken off the animal and floating in the water and are able to fire the toxins because they operate mechanically, not via the animal’s nervous system).

We quickly pulled a few handfuls of a plant found on the shore that she had used on a friend last year (recommended by the locals), boiled and applied the liquid hot, as well as homeopathics – suck on Apis (2 pastilles every 15 minutes), rub on Traumeel cream. No sign of anything a day later, but it was a very light sting.

February 23, 2013 at 9:25 pm
(145) mike j says:

I grew up in Florida and Lived in Hawaii for 15 years. We just peed on every kind of sting , man o wars ,sea lice , stinging crab eggs and box jellies. Stops the pain right away. Vinegar seems to be effective too. I think it’s the acidity . Most medical advice says hot water, but NOT urine or vinegar. Not sure why they don’t recommend it but i know it works. I’ve been stung at least a hundred times in my life. Really hot water for sting rays. Then go to the doctor.

April 16, 2013 at 12:32 pm
(146) lindsey says:

I plan to go to the beach in north Carolina within the next few weeks. First time ever to swim or even see the ocean. Reading about the shark attacks in shallow water plus this is making me think twice bout swimming in it. I understand things can happen but it doesn’t sound too safe. My thoughts was I’d be safe unless I went out farther. But this is happening in shallow water….can anyone or everyone let me know what to expect what to watch for and how to be safe….millions of ppl swim all the time in the ocean yes…but knowing my luck I’d be theone who got hurt. Idk if anyone knows the beach in nc but its an old fort they said. Sorry don’t member the name. I want to experience the ocean even if its just once. Maybe get to swim with dolphins….I doubt it tho as I heard their more open to ppl in the gulf. Lol crazy but this is stuff I’ve heard I have never been there and never seen it so I don’t know what I’m getting myself into. What about stingrays? Are they in the shallow water too. What else can hurt or kill me? Thank you!

April 24, 2013 at 10:15 pm
(147) Susan says:

I’ve been stung by both jelly fish and the man of war. I have scars on my right arm from the man of war stings which happened about 4 years ago! For those who are experiencing itching and swelling several days later, you are probably experiencing cellulitis. Cellulitis is an infection and that is why some of you have reported that doctors have suggested or administered antibiotics. I’ve gotten cellulitis numerous times: spider bites (almost lost my arm and leg), bee stings (caused my foot to swell the size of a football–no pun intended there), and poison ivy. Cellulitis usually looks like the skin is swollen…it usually burns and itches severely and cream and ointments give little comfort. My doctors usually prescribe steroids and antibiotics. Cellulitis can be lethal and so it is nothing to ignore or fool around with. So, if you get stung and a few days later you start having swelling, itching, burning, blistering, you should see a doctor. It can occur soon after a sting or poison ivy reaction. Cellulitis can be very dangerous, especially to someone with a challenged immune system, kidney disease, diabetes, peripheral disease, deep vein thrombosis, etc. I’m not a doctor and only offer this from my own personal experiences. If you suspect you have cellulitis seek medical attention immediately.

April 24, 2013 at 10:24 pm
(148) Susan says:

another note: It’s ironic. I read more of the comments left in the August-September 2009 dates.Looks like several of us got stung around the same time and near the same geographical locations. If you read my previous post from today’s date (2/24/13) I refer to my stings about 4 years ago. I was stung about the same time–August of 2009, Myrtle Beach. The reason I’m on here tonight is because I still have scars on my upper right arm…wrapped from my elbow up. They are still painful at times so I was trying to research to see if others had scars left from these stings 4 years later! It makes me wonder if it is a scar if it’s still embedded nemocysts or tentacle particles. It makes my arm feel at times like I have rubber bands wrapped around my arm. I was told at the time by Life Guards that it was a man of war that stung my legs and arms. I almost drowned because of it. Had my husband not been at my side when I got stung and dragged me to safety I may have died. I had a severe reaction and almost went into shock from it. The Life Guards did have a spray that they sprayed me with, so if you get stung go to the Life Guard stand for immediate help. They deal with these on a daily basis.

June 3, 2013 at 2:30 am
(149) TADPOLES says:

” According to marine envenomation expert Lisa-ann Gershwin, Ph.D., of the Queen Victoria Museum in Tasmania, Australia, the best approach depends on whether one is in a tropical or nontropical environment.”

“In nontropical environments, rescuers should endeavor to remove any visible nematocysts from the skin before they fire. Use seawater to rinse…”

“confirmed Portuguese Man o’ War (Physalia) stings in “nontropical” environments. Portuguese Man o’ War stings should be immersed in 113F (45C) water for 20 minutes.”

June 24, 2013 at 3:11 pm
(150) Jenlynn says:

What is the stuff that helps with the deadly box jellyfish sting? A man left a post saying locals to Australia had a cute that was also their food source. Any truth to this.
I need to know how to treat a deadly box jelly fish sting before I dare let my kid in the water. We’re headed to the Bahamas. Do the deadly box jellies even come around there?

June 25, 2013 at 8:00 pm
(151) Rachel says:

I was stung by a jellyfish idk wat kind but all thats left is a bumps that itch I tried apple somthin vinigar and then put baking soda on it and scraped the bumps wit a butter knife and its still here help!! (i even peed on it still nothin)

June 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm
(152) ann says:

Manawars sting so bad

July 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm
(153) Peta says:

You want to heat the area as soon as possible. I got mana war stings in the Arabian Sea. As soon as I got out of the water I poured sea water on the sting and used a credit card style bottle opener that is always in my wallet to scrape anything left on my skin off. We took a bucket of sea water back to the hotel and boiled it and I did hot compresses until all the sea water was gone. I just took mega doses of benadryl, applied lidocane, and applied coconut oil to the area and scraped my skin twice a day for an entire week. I never broke out into a rash or welts. I also used baking soda everytime I bathed, I just mixed it with my body wash.

July 31, 2013 at 10:44 pm
(154) none says:

Got wrapped up in a man ‘o war as a kid; our landlord broke off her aloe plants and covered me in goo; worked great for me

August 22, 2013 at 8:28 am
(155) kathy says:

I would like to see pictures of peoples stings to compare to my Grandaughters. Please send me some

August 23, 2013 at 11:01 am
(156) I'm awesome says:

Hi! I just got stung for my first time! I did put sand on it and I was in south cqrolinq qt the time!

August 27, 2013 at 9:51 pm
(157) Yellowpegs says:

Every summer we head to Hilton Head, SC and it seems every year I end up with a jellyfish sting. I know it sounds wierd but I always carry a bottle of Coke with me, when I get stung I immediately pour Coke on it and then scrape with a hotel card then repeat the process. This seems to help and the pain doesn’t last nearly as long. Got a sting last week and now I have little red bumps, thank goodness no itching just looks a little weird.
Also, not sure if it matters which time of day you go in the water but it seems I’ve had better luck in avoiding jellyfish stings when the tide is starting to come in. Any theories on this?

September 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm
(158) gail robinsonhi says:

I am an East Coast surfer and my friends and I are in the water all the time here in Surf City, NC. My friends in Australia use Paw Paw ointment for all stings from water creatures and it works great! Paw Paw is a fruit from the Paw Paw Tree and everyone here says it has helped them in 30 minutes of applying it. I have my friend send me some and do not know where to buy it in the States but worth researching. It smells wonderful unlike the alternative Vinegar.

November 26, 2013 at 1:17 am
(159) Sylviaelle says:

I was stung by man o war yesterday only on the legs and hands because I was wearing a long sleeve shirt for sun protection. Turns out it is also sting protection. Apparently wearing pantyhose is enough to prevent stings onthe legs. I will never swim in oceans again without them. I have learned a lot on this subject in the last 24 hours. First thing is a delayed reaction is commOn for man o war Don’t use fresh water use hot sea water on the area as quickly as possible. If not available rub sand on it and scrape away tenticles with a towel to prevent secondsry stings and see a doctor as soon as possible. Man o war stings need more tha n home remedies

January 18, 2014 at 8:27 am
(160) jim powers says:

I was stung by Man O War back in 1994 off the coast of the Azores and one of the locals helped me out of the water and brought me to a first aid station on the beach. First they sprayed pure iodine and lightly wiped off the poisonous sticky stuff. Then they sprayed pure ammonia after that to sanitize. I wasn’t sure if they were trying to help me or kill me because it burned like hell. However the pain subsided in less than 24 hours and the scaring went away after about a week. Very painful!!

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