Jellyfish Stings (cont.)
When to Seek Medical Care
Seek immediate medical treatment if the person stung has:
- Difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, chest pain, or intense pain at the site of the sting.
- If the person has been stung in the mouth or placed tentacles in their mouth and are having voice changes, difficulty swallowing, or swelling of the tongue or lips.
- If the sting happened to someone who is very young or old.
- If the sting involves a large area of the body, the face, or genitals.
- If the patient continues to have itching, redness, pain, and swelling of the skin (cellulitis) around the sting, see a doctor.
The doctor may prescribe:
- diphenhydramine (Benadryl) to help with the itching,
- pain medication for pain, and/or
- topical steroids or steroids by mouth to help with the swelling and itching.
- The doctor may also prescribe antibiotics if the patient has cellulitis. Take all medications as directed and until they are gone.
- If it has been longer than 10 years since the patient's last tetanus shot, a booster shot might be recommended.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/13/2015
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