There's a widespread belief that urine is the best cure for a jellyfish sting. But new research reveals it's a myth.

It's just one of a whole host of home remedies that are believed to help, which include shaving cream, baking soda, and alcohol.

Researchers from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa reviewed the solutions people commonly believe to work and found that only one was really a good idea - vinegar.

Here, MailOnline outlines the widespread remedies currently used and why they should be ditched.



• Vinegar

prevents nematocysts - which launch the little stingers that latch on to the skin and release a stream of venom - from firing off so you don't get injected with anymore venom.

• Urea, which is present in urine, does have beneficial effects, as it helps with tentacle removal. But the level of urea in your pee is too diluted for it to have any beneficial effect, the study authors say.

• Peeing on a sting can make matters worse, as the salt in urine might trigger more nematocysts to fire into the skin.

• Pouring alcohol on to the lesion will also have the same effect.

• Other DIY remedies such as shaving cream, baking soda, and sea water have no effect on the stingers.

The researchers say scraping away the tentacles is a bad idea as well, as pressure can trigger the nematocysts, prompting them to release more venom.

If you get stung by a jellyfish, pour concentrated vinegar on the affected area, then have someone in protective gear remove the stingers with tweezers.

And while it prevents further nematocyst discharge, vinegar doesn't provide any pain relief from already injected venom.


The study found that product's like Sting No More worked the best because they contain vinegar to shut down the nematocysts and high concentrations of urea to make tentacle removal easier.

Once the tentacles are removed, it's recommended heat is applied to the area, not cold.

It may be tempting to apply something cold to soothe the burning skin, but heat slows the venom down so it does less damage, the researchers say.

If your sting happened to be a box jellyfish, you'll need urgent medical help as the sting can kill within minutes.

The findings were published in the journal Toxins.