The actual sea lice are parasite bugs that affect fish. Sea lice are the larvae of jellyfish. The larvae contain nematocysts or sting cells just like with the adult jellyfish. Some larvae are large enough to be seen by the naked eye, but others can only be seen with a microscope. The larvae are invisible in water this is why it is difficult to tell whether or not the water is infested.[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJysTA_HX54″]
Signs and symptoms of sea lice bites
- When the sea lice are confined or crushed, their stinging cells are activated and their bites can be found anywhere in the body, usually under the bathing suit and in the folds of the body as well as in the buttocks and armpits.
- The bites of sea lice appear like a bright, red rash with tiny blisters and small areas of skin are raised and red in color.
- The bite can occur at least 6 hours after going out of the water, but sometimes it takes longer for them to show up.
- The bite of sea lice can last 2 days or up to 2 weeks. Seek medical care if the rash persists for more than 2 weeks.
- In severe cases, the individual will experience nausea, vomiting, fever and chills, and sometimes can end up with allergic reactions that need medical attention.
Treatment and home remedies of sea lice bites
- Minimize the itchiness by using household products readily available in the house such as vinegar and even meat tenderizer. Apply a small amount of meat tenderizer over the bite site and then drizzle vinegar. Repeat this process until the itching sensation subsides.
- Apply over-the-counter topical ointments that contain hydrocortisone in order to help minimize redness and itching.
- Take over-the-counter oral medications such as Benadryl in order to reduce redness and itching.
- Apply over-the-counter antibiotic ointments in order to minimize the chances of a secondary infection caused by bites of sea lice.
Seek medical help immediately if the symptoms still persists for more than 2 weeks. If you are planning a vacation in the beach, you have to be prepared to deal with possible sea lice bites. All you have to do is to register for first aid training today.
Preventing sea lice bites
- Apply a sunblock with jellyfish protection to all the areas of the body in order to prevent sea lice stings when surfing and swimming.
- Learn when sea lice are present in the area before swimming. Take note that they are present during certain months of the year and depending on the location.
- Wear proper swimming gear to prevent sea lice from being trapped inside the suit being used.
- The best way to avoid sea lice is to wear minimal clothing as much as possible.
- Use products that repel sea lice in order to prevent sea lice stings.
- Stay out of the ocean if sea lice are present.