Adults and children like to flock at the beach on a sunny day to enjoy the sun and sea. However, there are some ocean creatures which play a spoilsport on their joyous beach outing. Blue bottle is one such small sea creature among the many. Its sting can cause miserable pain for the person. Blue bottle is predominantly found on the coasts of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and many warm water oceans all over the world. They get strewn on the beach during the high tide.
Actually many people confuse blue bottle with jellyfish.The toxin of jelly fish and blue bottle differ, so does its treatment. Blue bubble has translucent body attached with several tentacles. The body is filled with air so that it can float. It can deflate and can go deep into the water.
The toxin is released from the tentacles. The severity of sting depends on the amount of time the tentacles remain in contact with the skin. Removal of tentacles from the skin is important in treating the condition.
Symptoms Of Blue Bottle Sting
The tentacles are long and have hook like structures which can sting and grab its prey.Immediately after bluebottle sting patient complains of severe pain in the area. The pain normally reduces after one or two hours.
The area where the creature has stung is apparent because of the red line made by the tentacles. It may be in the form of beaded line. The linear red rash may be itchy and swollen. In some cases blisters may develop on the stung area leaving behind permanent scars.
Even though the pain subsides after an hour, the bead like welts remains for 2 to 3 days. Sometimes, patient has excruciating pain when the toxin has reached the lymph nodes. In such cases he may need hospital care. Although it is very rare, some people may suffer from abdominal cramps, vomiting and headache after bluebottle sting.
First Aid Measures For Blue Bottle Sting
The first thing that needs to be done is to reassure the person and make him feel comfortable as much as possible. The person himself or someone else should observe carefully for the tentacles. Once they are seen at the site of sting, they need to be removed. In any case the area should “not” be rubbed to remove the tentacles as this may release the toxin still left in the tentacle.
Wash the area with sea water and carefully pick the tentacles preferably by wearing gloves if they are available. The sting area should never be rinsed with fresh water because this may cause more pain. Place the affected area under hot water for 15 minutes or use hot water shower.
Take care that the water is not scalding hot, but bearable for the person. In bluebottle sting, hot water helps to alleviate pain. In case if hot water is not available you can use ice pack and cold water as an alternative.
If all the first aid measures fail, and pain as well as other symptoms still persists, talk to your doctor for medical treatment. The physician after examination will prescribe a topical anesthetic cream and he may also recommend pain killers tablets.
Caution: The two things never to do after bluebottle sting:
- Do not clean the area with fresh water. Always use sea water or salt water.
- Do not apply vinegar as it will trigger more release of toxin from the tentacles.