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The Story of StingMate® Jellyfish Sting First Aid Gel

THE IDEA FOR STINGMATE® First Aid Gel for neutralizing jellyfish stings was developed during a brief encounter one evening while on vacation in Destin, FL.   While shopping, Julie Smithwick and Webb Willmott realized the need for a jellyfish sting treatment when a frantic customer asked a shopkeeper if Preparation-H ® could be used to treat his wife’s jellyfish sting. Webb, a pharmacist,  was quick to point out the most effective treatment option included vinegar.   At that point, however, too much time had most likely elapsed for vinegar to be effective, so he recommended hydrocortisone cream to help reduce itching and inflammation.

After this chance meeting, Julie quickly realized that there must be a need for such a product.  This vision prompted her to embark on extensive research to find a safe, effective, convenient and natural product for jellyfish stings. There were a few products being marketed at that time, but they all had drawbacks – potentially harmful ingredients such as lidocaine (FDA, January, 2009),  creams that claim to “prevent” jellyfish from stinging (which to date has never been possible), and products that use a disposable towel to “wipe away” the sting.   The latter is ineffective and, in fact, might cause more pain because rubbing the stinging cells of jellyfish causes them to fire more stinging cells.   The product seemed like a no-brainer to Webb because he knew that beach lifeguards use common household vinegar for first aid sting relief.  StingMate® was soon developed by a lab and sold in coastal areas where beachgoers could easily carry it with them in their beach bags.  The idea was to educate beachgoers to bring it with them just as they would suntan lotions and sunscreens, so that if the unfortunate accident happened they were able to safely reduce the pain and prevent further skin damage.


HOW IT WORKS StingMate® Jellyfish Sting Neutralizing Gel contains specific levels of acetic acid and menthol which work by inactivating stinging cells called nematocysts. The menthol provides a cooling sensation for lasting relief. The gel suspends the stinging cells and allows remaining ones to be simply scraped off the skin with any straight edge card. StingMate® is available in 1oz bottles that can provide relief for the affected area, small or large, since the patented gel does not run off the body as would plain vinegar. StingMate® is much more convenient and practical than bringing a gallon of vinegar on your next beach outing.