It’s beach weather, which means that you could have a run-in with a jellyfish. The stings from these weird-looking creatures can ruin your day unless you know how deal with them. In spite of what you may have heard, having someone urinate on them is not the best treatment; neither is meat tenderizer. Studies have shown that vinegar or a paste made with baking soda and water help, but that research was done on jellyfish native to Australia and Indonesia. Here’s what investigators from the University of California, San Diego, found after searching the medical literature on jellyfish stings: the most effective treatment is hot water, followed by cream containing lidocaine, a pain-numbing drug. This approach will take the pain from the sting out and the heat from a hot water soak will help disable the venom sacs jellyfish leave behind. If you don’t keep lidocaine in your beach bag and hot water isn’t handy, the researchers suggest removing the venom sacs very carefully with the edge of a credit card and then washing the area with saltwater. The study was published online June 8, 2012 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
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