Jellyfish are a common, yet dangerous hazard when scuba diving or snorkeling. They are often hard to see in the water, which means that you may not even be aware that you’ve been stung until after the fact. Jellyfish stings can range from mild to very severe, depending on the type of jellyfish and how much venom it injects into your body. In some cases, a jellyfish sting can result in death due to anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction). So, Can jellyfish sting through a wetsuit? Fortunately, there are ways to prevent getting stung by jellyfish or treat a sting if it happens:
Jellyfish sting through the wetsuit
It’s true that jellyfish can sting through a wetsuit, but it is less likely. Jellyfish have stinging cells in their tentacles which are released when they come into contact with your skin. In some cases, these stinging cells may have been damaged by the wetsuit material or by you moving around a lot while wearing it.
As long as the water is clear and calm, the best thing to do is avoid swimming in areas where there are known to be jellyfish if you want to reduce your risk of getting stung by one. If you do encounter them unexpectedly (or if someone else goes for a swim during your vacation), remember that brushing off any tentacles on yourself quickly will help prevent any pain from developing later on.
How do you prevent it?
You can prevent a jellyfish sting by avoiding areas where jellyfish are likely to be. Jellyfish tend to congregate near or in shallow water, especially during high tide. Most people who get stung are swimming in the middle of the day, when the sun is at its hottest and most humid. You should also avoid wearing bright clothing or jewelry that might attract them.
If you do happen to get stung by a jellyfish, there are some things you can do:
- Rinse off with fresh water as soon as possible after being stung; this helps reduce pain and swelling caused by toxins released from their tentacles through your skin
- Apply vinegar directly onto the affected area (if vinegar isn’t available, use salt water instead)
- Elevate the affected area above your heart level
How do you treat a jellyfish sting?
- Wash the area with vinegar
- Apply a cold compress to the area
- Use a topical cream or ointment if it’s available (and you don’t have an allergy)
- If you have an allergy, see a doctor immediately
Jellyfish can sting through wetsuits, so know your treatment options.
If you are stung by a jellyfish, it is important to remember that each sting is different. The severity of the sting will depend on how many tentacles contacted your skin and where they touched it. The best way to treat a jellyfish sting is by removing the tentacles as quickly as possible. No matter what method you opt for (dry or wet), it’s important that you cover your wound with vinegar or baking soda to neutralize any remaining nematocysts before applying heat.
If your first aid kit includes vinegar or baking soda, apply these immediately after removing any remaining tentacles from the wound; otherwise, make sure that the area is clear before applying heat. Heat should come either from warm water or sunlight (you can even use a lamp). Apply pressure directly over where you were stung until there are no more signs of pain and/or swelling at which time swelling will have subsided completely around an hour after being stung
Jellyfish stings can be dangerous, but they are also preventable. If you’re going to swim in areas where jellyfish are known to live, make sure that you wear a protective suit and know how to treat the sting if it does happen.