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Don't Believe Popular First Aid Methods to Man o' War Stings

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Scientists are saying not to trust a popular method to treat Portuguese Man o’ War stings.

Research performed by scientists at the University of Hawaii at Manoa say using heat and vinegar are the only ways to treat the sting and prevent the pain from spreading.

Flickr / warrenski
Credit Flickr / warrenski

This comes after recent studies popularized methods such as using ice or scraping the sting with a credit card or razor.

Dr. Angel Yanagihara is an Assistant Research Professor at UH Manoa.

University of Hawaii / Rachel Skubel
Credit University of Hawaii / Rachel Skubel

Dr. Yanagihara says it’s a two-step process – that starts with de-activating thousands of venomous capsules that haven’t been discharged.


Yanagihara says they have developed a special spray and cream that can be used as a substitute to heat and vinegar – called Sting No More.


Casey Harlow was an HPR reporter and occasionally filled in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
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