Sea urchin bite: symptoms and how to cure it


The fauna that inhabits the sea is one of the most extensive that exist. The sea urchin is one of the animals found in it and it is a species with two defense systems: one that is always activated because it is the external natural body, formed by long and quite sharp spikes being able to pierce the human skin. As for the second defensive system of the sea urchin, it is more active and is called pedicelaria. It consists of jaws capable of secreting poison. The bites and wounds of sea urchins cause very severe pain, as the beaks can pierce the skin.

Sea urchin bite symptoms and how to cure it

Therefore, it is important to know how to react in case of suffering them. To find out all about sea urchin bite, its symptoms and how to cure it, at we recommend that you continue reading this article.

Symptoms of a sea urchin bite

The bites of a sea urchin are especially painful from the first moment you suffer them. Normally, they leave a series of puncture wounds on the skin, which can easily become infected if not treated properly and immediately. The area of the body affected by the bite of a sea urchin can become red and swollen. In addition, if you manage to pierce the skin enough, a fairly common factor in the bites of this animal, the color of the swelling is between blue and black.

Sea urchin bites have a higher health risk when multiple deep wounds occur. In these cases, they lead to symptoms such as the following:

  • Muscle aches.
  • General malaise with a feeling of weakness, tiredness or intense fatigue.
  • Partial or total paralysis of some areas of the body.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

These symptoms can lead to more serious ones, such as respiratory failure. Therefore, it is essential that you urgently go to a hospital after suffering a sea urchin bite to put yourself in the hands of a doctor and apply the most appropriate treatment to cure it.

These bites can also trigger some kind of allergic reaction, from mild to life-threatening in the most extreme cases. People who have a history of allergic reactions after suffering bites or bites from insects or other animals are the most vulnerable to those caused by the sea urchin. If this is your case, it is advisable that you take extreme precautions to avoid them.

Flower hedgehog

It is also important to note that the bites of some sea urchins are more dangerous than those of others. There are species with poisonous spines and more powerful effects, being potentially deadly. The flower hedgehog is an example: it is covered with small poisonous thorns considered one of the most dangerous to human health. These hedgehogs are common in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Some sea urchins sting or prick, while others perform poisonous bites. Unlike these bites, bites are less dangerous as they do not leave the thorns embedded in the skin.

How to cure a sea urchin bite

First aid for sea urchin bite is the immediate removal of barbed debris or any other part of the animal embedded in the body. Use tweezers to more comfortably remove large spines. Still, if you're especially careful and skilled at handling it, you can use a razor to scrape off the pedicels gently. After doing so, wash the affected area with soap and water to prevent it from becoming infected.

Treatment for sea urchin bite to control initial pain is based on over-the-counter analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. It is also advisable to use products and lotions specialized in the treatment of bites. These products will serve to treat both the bite of this animal and those of other species.

After first aid and exposed treatments for the cure of a sea urchin bite, it is important that you call a doctor if you feel any of the following symptoms to explore the affected area and recommend the best treatment for your case.

  • Fever.
  • Swelling in other areas of the body.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Paralysis of some parts of the body.

How to prevent a sea urchin bite

Although in some circumstances they cannot be avoided, following these recommendations you can prevent a sea urchin bite:

  • These bites usually occur in divers and fans of swimming in the open sea, but also in people who enjoy a day at the beach on the shore and near the rocks. Take many precautions before swimming and diving into the water, especially if you know that you are going to go through an area of rocks or a lot of algae and if you are going to step on the rocks or on the ground at the bottom. If possible, wear gloves and fins or specialized footwear to protect your hands and feet. In this way, you will be protected from the spikes and bites of these animals, but also from those of others and from possible wounds made by the rocks themselves, pieces of shells or even glass and other remains of garbage.
  • When you detect the presence of a sea urchin in the water, try not to get too close to its area: try to surround it without touching any of its thorns because a simple touch or chafing will be enough to hurt your skin.

Apart from a sea urchin bite, if you usually swim on the beaches, you may encounter other marine animals that you should keep your distance from and be careful about, such as jellyfish and spider fish. Here you can read about Jellyfish Sting: What to Do to Relieve It and Spiderfish Sting: What to Do and How Long It Lasts.



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