Jellyfish stings are relatively common problems for people swimming, wading or diving in seawaters. The long tentacles trailing from the jellyfish body can inject you with venom from thousands of microscopic barbed stingers.
Jellyfish stings 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 (systemic) illness. And in rare cases jellyfish stings are life-threatening.
Most jellyfish stings get better with home treatment. Severe reactions require emergency medical care.
Sept. 15, 2015
- Auerbach PS, et al. Field Guide to Wilderness Medicine. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier, 2013. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 27, 2014.
- Cegolon L, et al. Jellyfish stings and their management: A review. Marine Drugs. 2013;11:523.
- Purcell JE. Jellyfish in Chesapeake Bay and nearby waters. NOAA Ocean Service Education. http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/lessons/stinging_sea_append.html. Accessed April 2, 2014
- Li L, et al. Interventions for the symptoms and signs resulting from jellyfish stings. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD009688.pub2/abstract. Accessed April 1, 2014.
- Ward NT, et al. Evidence-based treatment of jellyfish stings in North America and Hawaii. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 2012;60:399.
- Auerbach PS. In reply to evidence-based treatment of jellyfish stings in North America and Hawaii. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 2013;61:253.
- Lebwohl MG, et al. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier, 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 27, 2014.
- Marcus EN, et al. Jellyfish stings. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 27, 2014.