Whatever you do, don’t scratch
When a sting itches our reflex is to scratch it—but that’s actually the worst thing you can do. Scratching will irritate the skin even further and increase the risk of infection. Instead, you should massage a balm into the affected area with the palm of your hand and wait for the itching to pass—which usually takes around ten minutes.
Why do bites and stings hurt so much?
Insect bites and jellyfish and nettle stings initially hurt, and then itch. Why does our skin react this way, and how can we prevent and treat these stings?
Why do certain plants and animals sting ?
Either for food or to defend themselves. Mosquitoes, ticks, and female horseflies sting to suck their prey’s blood. Bees, wasps, and jellyfish sting not out of attack, but because they feel threatened. And the stinging thorns on plants like nettles are to protect the plant from being eaten. Our skin reacts to all of these types of stings the same way: first they hurt, with pain of varying intensity, and then they itch—a lot.
Even dead jellyfish washed up on the beach can sting. Their stinging cells are still capable of releasing venom into your skin.
Why do stings itch ?
When our body senses an attack it reacts by releasing histamine, a chemical that helps the body fight infection. Histamine is also what causes the redness and itchiness.
How can I keep from getting stung ?
Protect your skin by keeping it covered, by not wearing sweet-smelling perfume or keeping sweet-smelling things like fruit out in the open, and by wearing mosquito and jellyfish repellents.
If you have been stung :
- By an insect : Disinfect the sting and apply a soothing or anti-inflammatory ointment. If you have been stung by a bee or wasp, remove the stinger with a pair of tweezers. If you have been bitten by a tick, remove it with tick removal tweezers following the instructions carefully, then disinfect the area.
– By a jellyfish : Dust the affected area with fine, dry sand to trap the tentacles. Do not scrub the area, as this will cause the stinging cells to release more venom. Rinse the area with seawater (not fresh water) and disinfect.
– By nettles : Gently rub the affected area with a cotton ball soaked in vinegar or a solution designed to treat nettle stings.
Soothe painful stings in a flash with Quies
Our Flash Frais soothing towelettes with aloe vera soothe painful insect, jellyfish, and nettle stings by forming a protective film to stop the itching and promote healing.