For Russian tourists, hardened by Soviet folk methods, urinating on the sore spots of a heat burn is not an excessive solution. But it is strictly forbidden to urinate on a burn received from a jellyfish. Not only are there no studies to support the idea that urinating on wounds is beneficial, but this procedure may only make the pain worse. To debunk the beach myth, Thomas Waters, M.D., emergency room specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, is here.
What happens if a tourist pees on a jellyfish burn?
Jellyfish inhabit oceans and seas around the world. They are gelatinous, umbrella-shaped drops with long, stretchy tentacles that move through the water in pulsating, rhythmic movements. The jellyfish's tentacles have stinging cells called nematocysts that contain venom. Contact with a jellyfish, both in the water and on the beach, activates these stingers and releases venom. According to tourists, having come into contact with poisonous jellyfish, the pain from the burn is very painful.
At some point, a theory arose in the travel community that urine applied to a burn could neutralize the poison and relieve severe pain. The logic is based on the properties of ammonia and other compounds found in urine. However, such secretions can cause the stinging cells to add even more poison. This is because urine is mostly water. “Jellyfish stings are quite painful, but do not aggravate the symptoms. You may want the best by urinating on a sore spot, but applying the wrong substance to it can really make things worse,” the doctor explained.
How to treat a jellyfish sting?
Step 1: Remove the jellyfish tentacles
The medical advice is to use seawater to wash off the tentacles immediately, but avoid vigorous rubbing as intense manipulation can cause the jellyfish nematocysts to “ignite”, meaning that the serrated portion of the tentacles will release more of the toxin into the skin. There is one important note: when removing chippings, you should only use sea water on the affected area.
“Do not use fresh water, such as bottled water or tap water. If you do this, it can lead to the activation of nematocysts and worsen the condition of the burn,” the doctor warned.
Step 2: Look for notches
If there are notches, thorns left on the skin, tourists are advised to use tweezers to carefully pull them out. If tweezers are not available, you can gently scrape the affected area with a credit card or similarly shaped plastic object to remove them from the skin.
Step 3: Anesthetize
After removing the tentacles, the victim is treated with a burn of medical alcohol. This can help relieve pain and release the toxin. Soaking the affected area in hot water or hot showers for 20 minutes is another option, but only after all the nicks have been removed, Dr. Waters said.
The water temperature should be between +40°C and +45°C. If there is no thermometer, the doctor advised to focus on their own feelings: use the hottest water temperature that the tourist can withstand. Children are an exception.
Acetic acid can be applied later, vinegar is fine, but not essence, and calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream can help relieve pain. In addition, an ice pack can help reduce swelling, and antihistamines can help reduce itching and any skin rash.
Jellyfish sting symptoms
Although the touch of jellyfish is quite unpleasant, most of them do not require the attention of a doctor. Burns usually go away within a few hours. Sometimes a rash with red, purple, or brown spots can persist for several weeks. Scars are also possible.
The severity of the situation also depends on the type of jellyfish encountered by the tourist. There are thousands of species of jellyfish around the world, and some of them can deliver a lethal dose of venom. Worst of all is the box jellyfish, or sea wasp, which is found in warm sea waters.
We list the alarming symptoms that should seek medical attention:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Muscle cramps
- Skin blisters
- Numbness or tingling
- Nausea or vomiting< /li>
- Difficulty swallowing
- Increased redness, rash, or pain from bite infection
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