During the summer days, as soon as the sun peeks out we want to immediately go to the beach and run out to get into the sea. But sometimes we forget one thing: the presence of jellyfish on our beaches. If we do not take this into account, we run the risk of suffering a jellyfish sting.
Jellyfish stings can be a real nuisance, as they burn, sting and interrupt our days at the beach. That’s why we tell you what are the symptoms of jellyfish stings? to learn how to identify them and how to act to heal the wounds they produce.
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Every time more and more jellyfish appear on the beaches
The first thing that you must take into account before the stings of jellyfish is the precaution on having entered the water, being conscious that more and more beaches in Spain are filling up with jellyfish.. And this is not by coincidence, because when the winter before the summer is of scarce rainfall, jellyfish appear with the heat.
The fact that there are more and more jellyfish on beaches such as those of the Mediterranean is due to environmental circumstances, which are present from the winter and not only with the heat. When we have a shortage of rainfall, the fresh water that keeps the jellyfish awayis reduced. Other factors that influence their arrival on beaches are winds, storms and water pollution from toxic spills.
Why jellyfish sting us
Some of us tend to think that jellyfish stings happen because they attack us, but jellyfish never attack people. What happens is that jellyfish sense the temperature changes that occur around them, since this is their radar to catch potential prey.
When jellyfish sense this temperature change, which can be caused by the heat of people, they activate their stinging cells and as a result of their contact, jellyfish stings are produced on the body.
How to avoid jellyfish stings
Knowing how jellyfish act, the best thing to do is to follow the recommendations and information that the people from the Red Cross and the people in charge of the beaches give us about jellyfish. You can also avoid areas of the beach where jellyfish are known to be concentrated to reduce the chance of being stung by jellyfish. reduce the chance of being stung by jellyfish..
Keep in mind that jellyfish have a gelatinous appearance, with ovoid, saucer-like shapes and tentacles coming out of it like falling threads. They are actually quite beautiful, with iridescent transparent colors and some with a very vivid pink color, making us want to pick them up. You should never do this, not only to avoid the jellyfish sting, but also to avoid harming this living being.
In any case, if you want to to prevent a jellyfish sting as much as possible when you are in the water, sunscreen is also our savior in this regard. When applied, although it does not prevent the sting itself, it does act as an insulating layer on the skin that causes fewer stinging cells to be activated on the skin and, therefore, less discomfort. Sunscreen is summer’s best friend.
Finally, keep in mind that the dead jellyfish that we find on the beach keep the stinging cells in the tentacles, so you should avoid touching them at all costs.
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There are a number of tips on how to act after suffering a sting.
Symptoms of a jellyfish sting
Some people do not recognize a jellyfish sting first hand, perhaps because they have never seen it, felt it or because it takes them by surprise. Fortunately, the symptoms of jellyfish stings are easy to recognize.. Here are the signs:
- Pain and itching in the area of the body where the jellyfish stung you.
- Inflammation and redness of the skin, with a rash similar to a rash or eczema.
- In some cases bleeding.
In the most severe cases of jellyfish stings or in people who are allergic to jellyfish, other symptoms may appear such as muscle cramps, changes in pulse, pain in the extremities, sweating, headache, abdominal or chest pain and even fainting.
How to deal with jellyfish stings
If after having taken all possible precautions you feel itching, pain, have red skin and, in short, you have identified that you are presenting the symptoms, this is how you should act in case of jellyfish stings:
- Start by washing the area of the sting very well with salt water, i.e. sea water. Some people make the mistake of cleaning the area with fresh water, but this can have the opposite effect and spread the sting.
- If you notice that you have any tentacle remains on your skinRemove it, but do it with gloves or tweezers so that it does not get stuck in your hands.
- Apply cold compresses for 15 minutes to reduce inflammation and soothe the pain and the annoying itching sensation.
With these simple steps to relieve jellyfish stings, the intense pain will end in the first 30 to 60 minutes, although in some cases it can last up to 7 hours. If you need it, you can also take some analgesic and antihistamine to help you to soothe the pain and hives.. But if the symptoms persist after this time, you should see a doctor immediately, as you may be allergic to the jellyfish poison without knowing it.
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