In preparation for July 4th weekend and upcoming beach season…let’s review a quick-to-read basic management of a jellyfish sting (not including those pesky Australian Irukandji jellyfish):


  • To inactivate nematocysts: Pour vinegar or acetic acid solutions for ~30 seconds (Grade 2C)
  • Promptly remove tentacles to prevent continued venom release (avoid vigorous rubbing [Grade 1C])
    • Beware: detached live tentacles release venom
  • Hot water immersion for 20 min is also likely beneficial (Grade 1B)
  • Pressure bandaging remains controversial, not routinely recommended


Should your friend pee on the jellyfish sting like with Monica in that Friends episode ( or with Ben Stiller in “The Heartbreak Kid”?

  • Urine not recommended
  • Urine may too closely resemble freshwater and thereby cause venom release by altering the salt concentrations inside/outside the tentacle cells
  • jellyfish urine 2