Researchers at the University of Hawai‘i have published a paper which claims that certain household remedies for box jellyfish stings do not work, according to a press release.
The article, which will was published in the journal Toxins, says that some home remedies actually make the stings worse by increasing the amount of venom released by the jellyfish. The papers lead author, Angel Yanagihara, and the research team tested the remedies on a Hawaiian and an Australian type of box jellyfish by measuring the amount of venom they released in a human flesh model.
They found that rinsing the stings with seawater, applying ice and scraping off the tentacles actually increased the amount of venom released by the jellyfish.
The most effective method, according to the paper, is to apply vinegar and pluck the tentacles off with tweezers. The vinegar prevents the stinging cells inside the tentacle from firing.
“The increases in venom injection and activity we saw in our study from methods like scraping and applying ice could mean the difference between life and death in a serious box jelly sting,” Yanagihara said in the release.