How to Treat and Manage Seabather’s Rash

You take your family on a nice beach vacation, and BOOM…all of a sudden one or two of you are covered in a terrible rash

Known as “Seabather’s Rash” or “Seabather’s Eruption,” this rash, coupled with a terrible, burning sensation, is from thimble jellyfish larvae, also known as “sea lice.” These “sea lice” are commonly found in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean waters in spring and early summer. 

People can’t see the jellyfish larvae, but they can feel them, as they cause a burning, poking sensation during swimming in the ocean. When this sensation is felt, the swimmer should exit the water immediately. 

If you or your child experiences this sensation, rinse immediately with sea water, then take off articles of clothing and rinse with soapy water. 

A rash will soon appear that will itch, burn, and cause bumps on the skin. To ease the itching and burning, hydrocortisone cream can be applied, and you can take oral Benadryl or Zyrtec to ease the itching. 

It is important to do everything you can to not scratch the rash. Scratching can get bacteria under the fingernails, which can cause a secondary infection if it spreads. 

If you or your family experience the “Seabather’s Eruption,” know that typically these infestations are gone within a day, so the water should be safe for swimming again within 24 hours. 

 

Quick Tips on treating Seabather’s Rash

Try the following treatments.
  1. Do not rub your skin. …
  2. Remove your swimsuit as soon as possible. …
  3. Wash your swimsuit. …
  4. Shower with fresh water. …
  5. Take an antihistamine or apply hydrocortisone cream (1%). …
  6. Use an ice pack. …
  7. Keep the rash clean. …
  8. Watch for symptoms of infection while the rash is present.

https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/Pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=tm6356spec