Jellyfish Stings

Friday, July 25, 2014

Jellyfish stings are relatively common problems for people swimming, wading or diving in seawaters. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about jellyfish stings in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Jellyfish stings are relatively common problems for people swimming, wading or diving in seawaters. The long tentacles trailing from the jellyfish body can discharge thousands of microscopic barbed stingers that release venom into your skin.

Jellyfish stings can vary greatly in severity. Most often they result in immediate pain and red, irritated marks on the skin. Some jellyfish stings may cause more whole-body illness, and in rare cases, jellyfish stings are life-threatening.

The severity of reactions to jellyfish stings depends on a number of factors. Common signs and symptoms include:

Immediate burning pain

Red, brown or purplish tracks on the skin essentially a print of a tentacles contact with your skin

Itching

Tingling and numbness, and

Throbbing pain that may radiate up a leg or arm to the torso

If left untreated the symptoms generally resolve within one to two weeks. Discoloration of the skin may last one to two months.

Most jellyfish stings get better with home treatment, but severe reactions require emergency medical care.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.