Sea urchins are rather non hostile animals in the ocean; nonetheless, they injure many divers and swimmers who accidentally step on to them. Sea urchins have 2 protection mechanisms.
One – the spines which cause puncture wounds; and smaller organs called pedicellaria lying in-between the spines which release venom when they attach to something (or someone).
Complications Of Sea Urchin Sting
Puncture from the spines of the sea urchin results in redness, swelling, pain, several deep punctures as well as infection. Occasionally, the person could suffer from paralysis, respiratory failure, and even death. It is vital that you treat sea urchin stings immediately to circumvent any complications.
Sea urchin stings in infrequent cases can produce infection and may also make one go in to an anaphylactic shock. Instant medical aid is crucial in case you develop chest pain or breathing difficulty. Spines are known to get implanted in joints and result severe infections and lesions.
When neglected, you will experience tingling, numbness and burning along with agonizing pain and could even develop paralysis.
First Aid Remedies For Sea Urchin Sting
- Soak the stung area in hot water for about an hour.
- Get rid of spines with tweezers. To eliminate the pedicellaria, spread shaving cream on the wound and scrape off with a razor.
- Clean the area well with soap and water. This is necessary to remove spines, pedicellaria as well as venom.
- Ensure that you keep the wound open. Do not close up the stung area with bandages, sutures or glue.
- Confer with your health care provider and talk to him about medications. You could apply a topical anti-biotic lotion to manage the redness, swelling, inflammation, discomfort and most importantly to ward off signs of infection. If you see signs of infections and the wound refuses to heal, your healthcare provider may start oral antibiotics. Your doctor may also prescribe pain killers to deal with the pain better.
- On the other hand, some experts recommend avoiding embarking on to treatment on your own. Attempting to get rid of the spines yourself may fracture the spines in the skin. A doctor will be able to remove the spines better, especially the embedded ones. Pedicellaria implanted in to your skin need to be very cautiously removed too. Embedded pedicellaria drive venom in to the body.
Sea Urchin Sting Medical Treatment
- In some cases, surgery may be needed to take out the spines that are deeply embedded in to the tissue.
- Tetanus needs to be given to ward off infection from developing at the wound site.
- Your health care provider may prescribe corticosteroids in extreme cases of itching and swelling that develops around the affected wound. Hydrocortisone reduces inflammation around the affected area. Prednisone diminishes the swelling and inflammation considerably. You need to talk to your health care provider before starting these drugs. Confer with him the dose and duration of the medication. Over the counter drugs allay pain and swelling effectively, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications.
- Also, after the preliminary treatment regimen, a follow up care routine is vital. Soak the area in vinegar, it helps dissolve small spines. Warm compresses help deal with pain on a daily basis.
- Your doctor may prescribe strong antibiotics if there are any signs of infection such as pus draining, undue redness and excessive swelling.