Should You Pee on a Jellyfish Sting?
Find the truth about questions that pique your curiosity in our series, “The Short Answer.” Emergency medicine physician Pedro, Perez, MD, answers this one.
Q: Should you urinate on a jellyfish sting?
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy
A. No. Studies have not supported this method, and urine may even worsen the sting.
If do you get stung by a jellyfish, remove the tentacles right away. You can brush them off with a credit card or other plastic object and use shaving cream to get the tentacles to release.
You also can use seawater to wash off the tentacles, but avoid any vigorous rubbing because this can cause the jellyfish’s nematocysts to fire, which means the barbed part of the tentacles would release more toxin into your skin.
Once you remove the tentacle, treat the pain by immersing the area in hot water.
Immerse the affected area in a hot bath or under a hot shower for twenty minutes. The water temperature should be 104 to 113°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, use the hottest water temperature you can tolerate on an unaffected area. If you are treating a young child, always test the water temperature first.
To treat the pain, you also can apply acetic acid (which is found in vinegar) and papain meat tenderizer.
— Emergency medicine specialist Pedro Perez, MD