• Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 44,280+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 516,210+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,441+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

Jelly Fish stings

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Well-Known Member
Aug 28, 2003
During my freediving course (taught by Aharon and MT. Solomons) in Baja Mexico I discovered that I am becoming more and more sensitive to jelly fish stings..

There is no immidiate reaction to the sting, aside from the the usual burning sensation and a slight reddness that goes away within a few minutes, however after about 12 to 24 hours (usuallly the next morning) the skin area that was stung, becomes red swells and itches terribly. Ends up looking like super mosquito bites.

Since my wetsuit, gloves and socks cover most of my body, the area remaining is part of my face that is not covered by the mask and the hood (the lips really swell up the next day).

Does anyone here has tips on how to protect against the stings, or perhaps desentsize one self to this stings ?
Last edited:
Thimble jelly fish protection

We used to get a lot of thimbles in Grand Cayman... when they release the larvae you get sea itch...

my face was like a football and with almost acne like sores... and sooooooo itchy. my skin didn't like thimbles at all.

there is a product you can put on before going in the water.. i will find out what it is as i can't remember the name of it.

there is a jelly we used to put on afterwards, a green jelly with like granules in it. very soothing. i had to go on on Periton afterward and a bunch of other things..

will try to find the name and get back to you..

i just found it.. its called LANDS END OIL
you put loads of it on before you go into the water and it protects your skin against the small nasties...
also there is
WipeAway Jelly Fish Sting Medicated First Aid Gel and Sawyer Products Itch Balm Plus.

Aquatic Wetsuites make a special Sea Lice wetsuit that has dry suit seals at the wrists and neck and special hood with a "neck dam" which further prevents water from flowing in with sea lice. If using a normal set suit another suggestion is to apply vaseline around the wrists and neck and the hairline at the back of the neck where they get trapped into your hair.

If you get stung, the standard treatment consists of application of steroid creams to the skin and taking antihistamine tablets. However, these tablets can cause drowsiness, so there is an increased risk of nitrogen narcosis if diving. Alternative remedies include calamine lotion, rubbing alcohol, amonia spray, vinegar or urinating on the affected areas!
Last edited:
Thank you Sara!
I'll try the remedies you have mentioned.

Now we just have to wait for Shaka to comment on "urinating on the affected areas " ? :)
One old remedie hasn't been mentioned. Papaya. I never had a bad sting until last month (fortunately it was on the hand) and when the pain persisted, I took a piece of papaya and mashed it on the welt. It reduced the pain fast.
Never heard of the papaya before. Think maybe I'll try it if I get a bad sting on the face again. Kinda don't want any of my dive partners peeing on me.

Oh.. if this hasnt been mentioned before. DONT WASH IT WITH NORMAL WATER (tap/bottle water)... the stings are in fact little needles that will swell up and burst with normal water and release more poison... I read it in a newspaper when France had the "Lots of jelly fish epidemic"... the best way to soothe it is urinate / wash with SALT WATER... then apply the creams and stuffs mentioned in the above posts
Hope this helps! :D
Hello guys!

every june july in my area the water is infested with stinging jelly fish!

The best cure for it is to pour vinegar on the place of the sting! or you can pee on it :D !

I know that in NSW Australia there is a special wetsuit against jellyfish since they have tiny poisonous jelly fish which infest the water for several month in the year!
the stings are in fact little needles that will swell up and burst with normal water and release more poison...

hey i wrote an article on this once...

(referring to Portuguese Man o' War jellyfish)

The nemocysts (stinging cells), are complex structures, only 0.0001m diameter. They are incredible to look at close up, as each one is actually a sphere containing a long coiled thread turned outside in. When the cell is stimulated the thread uncoils and shoots itself right side out. It is armed with barbs or spines and a toxic mixture which it injects through a pore in the thread.

. If you get stung, and still have tentacles wrapped around you, tweeze them off (don’t do it with your hands!), which will minimise more stinging cells from firing off. Whatever you do, don’t rinse them off with fresh water (use sea water), or you will spark another reaction from more nematocysts. You can then use ice packs, or local anaesthetic spray.
Sounds like osmosis is what is triggering the nematocysts.

Ideally you would want to get some seawater and disolve more salt into it, then wash with that. This should prevent any cells from bursting.
Hi guys,

I was stung on the face by a Portugese man-o-war (Bluebottle)the weekend before last. After doing a fair bit of reading afterwards it seems that the current trend for these is to have a hot shower, as hot as you can stand for about 15 minutes. This neutralises the poison and apparently soothes the affected area. Vinegar was on the outer for a while, but apparently is ok to use again to neutralise the poison. Of course I was rock-hopping and was no-where near a shower or a bottle of vinegar. I couldn't even get my wetsuit off to do a wizz on my face (don't think I wouldn't have done it either, the pain is like fire)!

Afterwards apply the ice or antihystemine cream or tablets such as Telfast. And whatever else, DON'T SCRATCH! :naughty :naughty :naughty

some more input ...
I used to work as a commercial diver on the West coast of South Africa - what everyone used there was meat tenderizer (the stuff you buy in the supermarket). This seems to break down the stinging cells real fast ...

To prevent being stung in the first place, some divers fashioned a form of face protection from old nylon stockings (with holes for mask/regulator) to cover those areas of skin exposed between the wetsuit hoodie and mask - I have seen photos of some spearos using this idea on the web, but could not find it again now in a hurry ...

I can see Shaneshac getting his fish net stockings out now... :D

i have also heard of meat tenderiser, in the DAN Marine injuries book it recommends it.
To reduce pain or itching of jelly fish stings (my stings bruise purple) rub arnica on the part affected
Roy, it sounds like you are getting a reaction similar to mine for sea lice, doesn't hurt till the next day then itches like crazy for a week. Mine is getting worse too. It is an alergic reaction to the poison in the neumatacysts. For sea lice, the poison dose is negligable, but the allergic reaction can be pretty bad. Try a google search for sea lice. it will turn up a whole lot of info and some additional products. Calamine worked well for me in keeping the itch bearable. Also, hitting it early with benadril (after the dive) should go a long way toward limiting the reaction.

Good luck next time

Connor, you are absolutly right re. the allergic reaction. Benadril works fine for the swelling and the itch, but it dries up my sinuses and makes me sleepy. I found that OTC hydrocortisone cream helps. I wish there was a way to get "decencetised" to this alleregen.

"ofthesea", what is arnica ?
Arnica, also known as leopards bane is a plant that reduces inflammation and pain in common wounds or bruises. It works by stimulating the activity of white blood cells that wash out disorganized fluids from bruised joint and muscle tissue. One company that sells arnica is Weleda. Another herbal medicine, Calendula can be bought as an ointment that helps treat skin irritation and rashes without causing pain to the area on which it is applied.
In Cayman we spent hours out freediving so we tried everything from, loading up on Sun block, Vasaline and even KY before a dive ( KY doesn't work - water soluble ) but the vasaline did work. We'd put it around our necks, ankles and wrists. Give it a try :)
Walmart sells a spray benadryl solution, should be available other places. I have not tried it, but this might be real good, without the bad side effects of taking it internally.

this is going to sound gross i know. BUT, my professor always told us to urinate on it. i think the urea in urine neutralizes the toxin. may sound weird, but when i worked with the chrysoara and got stung it worked like a charm.. gross yes, but nothing hurts like a chrysoara melanaster sting
Thanks for the tip Connor, I will try the topical spray, that should to take care of the problem without affecting the whole body.

Diva, since I get stung mostly on the face (my lips and the skin between the hood and the mask), I think I'll forgo the "urea" treatment .... got a reputation to uphold, I'm sure you understand. rofl
DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing


ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2024 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Ocean Advocacy and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.