Most marine stings present no real danger, but some people may require medical treatment if shock type symptoms appear or a severe rash develops. Otherwise, stopping painful toxin release & preventing infection is the main treatment concern.
Get victim out of the water before treating. Remove tentacles if still present using gloves or a piece of clothing. The victim may have welts resembling whip marks or a mild rash. This will be the area to scrape. Gently scrape the skin surface with a credit card or a dull blade to remove remaining cells attached to the skin. Dry sand can also be used if no card or blade is available.
Stop the Venom
The best way to neutralize the stinger cells is to saturate a cloth placed over the area with vinegar, white vinegar being best, for 30-60 minutes. Always test small area first. Never use meat tenderizer, cold fresh water, alcohol & urine as these may activate the stinger cells. If no vinegar is available, soak area in hot water, as hot as victim can tolerate, for 60-90 minutes.
Long Term Care
The victim will probably develop mild welts or a mild rash. This is normal, and should heal in 1-3 weeks. Pain is usually a mild to moderate burning sensation & usually lasts for 1-3 days. You can apply an antibiotic ointment on broken skin & hydrocortisone cream may relieve pain. If severe bead looking welts or shock symptoms develop, take the person to the hospital or call EMS.