Sea Urchins live on the shoreline and are commonly found in coral reefs. With their prickly spines, they hide in the depths of the oceans, not always visible to the divers or ocean goers. Sea Urchins have many sharp spines used for protection against predators. Sea Urchin stings in humans are most commonly an accident. In hard to see places, stepping on one is usually an accident that becomes quickly known to it’s victim.
When you are first stung by a Sea Urchin, you will notice immense pain sometimes followed by swelling, burning, and even numbness. In severe cases, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and respiratory depression can also occur. In these rare cases, you should seek immediate medical attention. Six hours following puncture, the pain will begin to subside. It is at this time and over the next several days you will need to be aware of signs of infection, including redness, swelling, and pus.
If you experience a Sea Urchin sting, it is recommended that you follow these steps…
- Use tweezers to remove large spines.
- Shave the remaining area to help remove smaller spines.
- Cleanse thoroughly with soap and water.
- Soak your foot for 30-90 minutes in warm water and Epson salt to help ease pain and decrease swelling.
- Apply antibiotic ointment, but do not cover foot with a bandage. This will allow for remaining spines to work their way out.
- If you are unable to remove all spines, surgery may be necessary and you should seek medical attention.
Enjoy your next trip to the beach, but if you encounter a Sea Urchin or any other sea creatures, we are here at Hollowbrook Foot Specialists, serving all of your foot needs! We are located in Wappingers Falls and the beautiful Hudson Valley. Call (845) 298-9074 for your appointment today!
By: Samantha DelRegno D.P.M.