Despite what you’ve heard, peeing on a jellyfish sting won’t make it better

One of the hazards of frolicking in the ocean is encountering some of the wildlife. True ocean lovers are accustomed to sharing the water with jellyfish, even if it means the occasional (painful) sting. For those of you who have ever been stung by a jellyfish, you know that the pain is no joke.

There are many popular ideas about what might help ease the pain – like peeing on the sting. But, despite their popularity, this advice is simply a myth.

Plenty of people have warned about it before, but peeing on a jellyfish sting does not help the situation at all.

In fact, a new study showed that it can actually make everything worse.

The study, published in Toxins, suggests that using urine to help a sting site may cause significantly more pain. The idea behind the myth is that pee contains a chemical known as urea, which may help with tentacle removal. And there’s actually some truth in that. Urine does contain urea. But it is so diluted that it won’t help at all in a stinging situation.

In fact, the salt in the urine is much more likely to cause a reaction on the skin that will make the jellyfish venom more effective.

And, just so you know, it’s also not a good idea to try and scrape the sting away. Scraping can irritate the venom in the tentacles even more. Plus, they can fall off one part of your body and latch onto another area. And that would not be fun at all.

The only DIY remedy for jellyfish stings is concentrated vinegar. Vinegar and products that contain high concentrations of vinegar – like StingNoMore – are the safest and most effective way to treat a jellyfish sting yourself.

So this summer, remember to pour vinegar on jellyfish stings and keep your urine in the bathroom.