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December 1968

Studies on Sea Nettle Stings

Author Affiliations


From the Division of Dermatology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Arch Dermatol. 1968;98(6):587-589. doi:10.1001/archderm.1968.01610180031003

A reproducible technique for stinging guinea pigs with Chrysaora quinquecirrha has been described. A linear urticarial eruption which persists for approximately 24 hours appears within two to four hours. Motionless jellyfish tentacles must be in contact with the skin more than 15 seconds to produce an eruption. This interval can be shortened by moving the tentacle. The amount of petrolatum necessary to prevent the eruption was quantitated and appears to be inversely related to motion of the tentacle. The incorporation of strong base or polysorbate 20 at suprathreshold concentrations increased the blocking efficiency of petrolatum. Unfortunately, because the former agent produces irritation and the latter washes out of the ointment, these compounds are not acceptable blockers. A silicone containing form of stopcock grease was also an effective blocking agent, however, its use will be limited since it cannot be easily removed from the skin.