Sea Urchin Sting Treatment Clinic Question and Answers
Sea urchin stings can cause you severe pain and irritation. In case of any accidental contact with sea urchins, visit Minit Medical Urgent Care. For more information, please call us or book an appointment. We have convenient locations to serve you in Kahului HI, Kihei HI, and Lahaina HI.
Sea urchins are considerably small, spike-covered sea creatures that are found living in oceans throughout the world. They typically are located in shallow water like rock pools, coral reefs, or rocks exposed from the waves.
Sea urchins do not attack, nor are they aggressive in any nature, they have spikes as a deterrent to other animals to not eat them. If you are stung by one, it was most likely an accident, as you may have touched or stepped on one, which causes the inadvertent sting.
Sea urchins have two defense mechanisms. First is always engaged due to its natural, external-body type, which are the beautiful spikes you notice first. These venomous spikes are sharp and can easily puncture the skin. The second defense mechanism is more active in which the pedicellariae, which are the jaws, essentially release venom.
What happens if you get stung by sea urchins?
Sea urchin stings can cause immediate pain to the individual who has come into contact with one. They often will leave a puncture wound to the skin, which can easily become infected if not treated immediately.
The area that has been stung may become red and/or swollen immediately after. If the skin is punctured, the puncture site may begin to look blue or black in a bruised color. Multiple deep puncture wounds can be very serious for an individual who came into contact with the sea urchin, especially if the puncture wounds are accompanied by these symptoms:
- Muscle aches
- Intense fatigue
As well, these symptoms may lead to respiratory failure, and even death if medical treatment is not sought out immediately.
What to do if you get pricked by a sea urchin?
Immediate immersion in hot water will help with the pain and possibly inactivate any toxins that may have entered your system if you came into contact with a poisonous sea urchin.
It is best and highly recommended to visit a medical provider like Minit Medical for further treatment. As not all home remedies can provide treatment, and if it is poisonous, a home remedy may not always help or even save your life as medical science can.
How do you treat a sea urchin sting?
First things first, if you come into contact with a sea urchin and become stung and have the stinger still stuck in you, immediately remove it and any other part of the sea urchin that is embedded into the body with tweezers. You can use a razor if needed to gently scrape out any pedicellariae.
Once you have the stinger and anything else out, wash the affected area and the surrounding area with soap and water. You may find you are in pain after the sting, taking over-the-counter treatments as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help. As well topical antibiotic treatments like creams can help the affected area.
While these treatments are helpful in aiding you once the sting happens, it is best and highly recommended you seek medical treatment thereafter to have the area reviewed, in case infection occurs.
As well, if you have been in contact with a poisonous sea urchin, seeking medical treatment can not only help with infection, but it could save your life.
How long does the sea urchin sting take to heal?
With proper treatment, the pain and other symptoms associated with a sea urchin sting usually heal within five days. If the pain has not subsided, or you begin to see signs of an infection or other complications, visit us at Minit Medical! We offer convenient locations located in the beautiful Lahaina HI, Kahului HI, and Kihei, HI.
We accept most major healthcare insurances and offer self-pay options to patients who do not have healthcare insurance or which we do not accept their healthcare insurance.
Living in or visiting Hawaii, knowing the animals of the sea that call it their home is vital, as some can accidentally harm you. Sea Urchins are one of these animals that can; with their spiky exterior, and venomous bite, you will want to know how to treat it, and when it is best to visit a doctor. Call us today to learn more. We serve patients from Lahaina HI, Kahului HI, Kihei HI, Launiupoko HI, Olowalu Hi, Wailuku HI, Kula HI, Makawao HI, Paia HI, Wailea HI, Haiku HI and Waihee-Waiehu HI.