The bluebottle jellyfish stings a host of Australian beach-goers every year. Unlike the Physalia stings in other regions of the world, major systemic complications are not known to occur with a blue bottle sting.
Bluebottles differ in size, and the intensity of the sting depends up on the amount of skin contact with the tentacle of the jellyfish.
Some of the common symptoms that occur after the blue bottle jellyfish sting include:
- After the sting there is immediate burning pain, which characteristically lasts for about 2 hours.
- You can see the sting site given that there will be a red line where the tentacle has touched. The skin will turn swollen and itchy.
- There will be linear erythematous welts on the skin.
- Sometimes, blisters develop at the site of the sting.
- In some cases there will be nausea, vomiting, headache, pain in the abdomen and weariness.
First Aid And Home Remedies For Blue Bottle Sting
By and large, you do not need any care beyond first-aid. The stings are self‑limiting and react well to first-aid.
- Reassure the individual; it helps recovery.
- Place the affected portion in hot water.
- You may give an oral analgesia such as paracetamol to manage the pain and discomfort.
- Never apply pressure or vinegar; these aggravate the symptoms.
- When you go swimming, it’s always a good idea to get someone to watch over.
- When stung, do not rub the area; pick off the remaining tentacles with your fingers very gently. Very gently wash the stung area in sea water and cautiously pick off any tentacles, make sure to avoid further stings, if possible wear gloves.
- Rinse the sting area well to eliminate any remaining sting cells.
- Soak the area in hot water; then after about 2 hours, use ice packs. Washing the area with vinegar is not advised at all. Immerse the area in hot water (45 degrees Celsius) for half an hour. Hot water is decidedly beneficial in helping decrease the pain of bluebottle stings, compared to what was recommended previously – using ice packs and cold water. On the other hand, if you cannot find hot water an ice cold pack will help you.
When To Seek Medical Help After Bluebottle Sting?
If after all the first aid measures, there is still persistent pain, itchiness or blistering, you need to consult a health care provider who will prescribe a topical medicine such as a corticosteroid application to allay the inflammatory response to the sting.
Also, experts recommend that in case if you fail to unmistakably recognize a jellyfish sting as that due to a harmless jellyfish or a bluebottle, then it is definitely safer and advisable to treat the sting with vinegar and to call for immediate medical aid.
Even though extremely implausible, a bluebottle jellyfish sting could set off an anaphylactic reaction (a severe allergic reaction which could be life threatening); as has been seen in a few rare cases of bluebottle stings.
In case one tends to develop troubling symptoms such as tightness in the chest region or an extreme difficulty in breathing and these symptoms seem to be getting worse, call 000 to for instant medical aid. Do not waste precious time, call for urgent help instantaneously.
You also need to seek medical help if the stung area is very large (i.e. it has afflicted more than half of your arm or leg) or if it involves a sensitive area like your eye.