Stingray wound follow up care reference thread


Well-Known Member
Nov 10, 2020
oceanside ca
I thought i would start a new thread to follow up on my other stingray thread. I have had some complications with my wound and would have done some things differently if i had more knowledge. I will post here what i learned from now 4 doctors visits over 12 days due to my deep wound puncture from the stingray. I will say my first wound i got was a small nick and healed quickly and did not need alot of the care below. But if you get one deep keep reading. Maybe this will be useful if you are in an area where you need to make some decisions on your own.

Doctor appt 1 on June 10 initial exam of wound
Doctor appt 2 on June 17 infected wound inspection
Doctor appt 3 on June 19 infected wound inspection follow up
Doctor appt 4 on June 22 infected wound inspection follow up 2

Honestly there is a lot of conflicting information online about the healing process. Most of it points to a quick recovery. There is not a lot of info about more severe hits, infection, and a non quick recovery.

So after 2 different doctors and multiple nurses here is what i would suggest one do ( this is what i will do next time)

1. Get up to date on your tetanus shot. Mine was 9 years old. I had to get a booster the day this happened.

2. Clean the wound first, before the hot water. Flush the wound and try to get out any debris. Then put something like betadine on it.

3. Know where your foot artery is. If you are hit there and you are bleeding bad go straight to the hospital. ( real hospital, not urgent care)

4. Soak the wound in very hot water for 60-90 minutes until you get some relief.

5. Go to doctor where they can do an x-ray or ultrasound to check for debris in wound.

6. Take a preventative antibiotic. ( i was not told to do this from first doctor, second doctor could not believe i was not prescribed Doxycicline as a preventative )

7. Dont go in the water until the wound is closed ( i went surfing on day 5 when i thought i was healed... bad idea) My doctor said today 4 days of a solid scab with no oozing before i go surfing. Apparently a puncture wound heals from the inside out. So if there is any oozing it could be a hole going all the way to internal structures... you dont want bacteria going deep. The barb can do serious internal tissue damage as it comes out.

8. You read alot online about it getting infected days later. That is what happened to me. Red swollen and hot thats an infection. Go to the doctor.

9. I was told the 2 most common infections are vibrio and staph. Which apparently require 2 different antibiotics. So be prepared to take more than 1 antibiotic, and or expect an antibiotic shot.

10. It takes 2-3 days to see results from the antibiotics and the infection might get worse in those days ( mine did). My pain was in multiple areas on the foot not just the wound site, i was told this is common from both infection and internal tissue injuries where the trauma spreads out.

11. When the doctor says if the infection gets to the next level go to a hospital where you can get an IV drip antibiotic. The next level i was told is fever, body chills, naseua, dark red spreading in lines from the wound area.

12. Take all your antibiotics ( and watch out for sun sensitivity from the meds)

13. Take a probiotic to counteract for your guts. Take benadryl for itching, take advil for pain. Ice for initial swelling. Heat later to aid in healing.

14. When you are mobile and healing wrap your foot with an ace bandage to create compression. It feels good and helpps keep the wound from tearing and reopening and helps with swelling.

15. In my case it will probably take 2.5- 3 weeks to heal to where i can get in the water.

15. Overall take it serious. I did not. I have had multiple injuries over the years and not done much and they have just healed fine with no treatment. I am not prone to infection. You are not in the clear until the pain and swelling are done and the wound is fully closed and the scab is shrinking. Rest it as much as you can and stay off it and elevate it. I tried getting back to normal routine too quickly and paid the price. I think i heard so many stories of "just put it in hot water and drink some beer you will be good in 48 hours".... not true if it gets you good.

Be well
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Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2012
Mine took almost 6 months before I was pain free. It must have gotten a nerve as it zapped me on the pad of the bottom of my foot. I missed a whole season of cross country becuase I couldn't run. Not fun. Take it seriously.


Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2004
LA, California
I'll second the need to irrigate the wound with Betadine solution as soon as you can, unless you have a serious iodine allergy. We use it in the OR for all open wounds, and for wound prep. You can dilute it by half with plain water or use it full strength. Use enough force to wash out loose contaminants. A syringe or medicine dropper is better than not doing it. Doing so just might prevent or delay the emergence of a deep infection. I keep some in my car.


Well-Known Member
May 30, 2017
Long Beach CA
Good friend got staph almost lost his foot.

Now I get xrayed

My last sting got me really good and deep on the bottom of my foot ( swimming in for my log) the scar tissue was absolutely horrible for a good 9 months after. Felt like I was walking on a bolt. Kinda a bad planters wart feeling. I kept digging at the scar tissue and between that and metal detox spray it’s now fine.

My wife suggested the spray im more of a beer guy and to my surprise it worked.


New Member
Sep 23, 2021
Huntington Beach
I spent two nights in the hospital with an infected foot from a stingray sting. Required surgery. Absolutely agree with the need to thoroughly clean the wound (which I apparently did not do) and stay out of the water until it heals (which I certainly did not do)! I treat the sand like reef now.