An intensely itchy rash due to contact with the tiny thimble jellyfish (Linuche unguiculata).
These jellyfish are common between March and August in the waters off of Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. There may be no adult jellyfish around as a warning. The jellyfish larvae look like mere specks of “finely ground pepper” and can evoke the same response.
The reaction tends to start 4-24 hours after exposure to the jellyfish. People who have had previous exposure to seabather’s rash may have an immediate stinging sensation. Some people feel like they have the flu with nausea, vomiting, headache, muscle and joint aches, and malaise.
A bathing suit traps the jellyfish larvae with the fabric acting like a net. The best way to prevent stings is clearly to stay out of the water. Anyone who has had a previous episode of seabather’s itch is advised to not go in the water. If one goes in the water, one can wear clothes such as a wet suit that provide a protective barrier. Careful washing of swimwear after taking a dip is advisable. Wearing a T-shirt into the water is a poor idea because it increases the risk of a severe reaction. Topical anti-itch creams are only temporarily effective.
Other names for seabather’s itch include bather’s eruption, sea poisoning, and ocean itch and the jellyfish are sometimes called sea critters or, incorrectly, sea lice.
An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on the skin and makes the person want to scratch the affected area. Itching is medically known as pruritis; something that is itchy is pruritic.
- Itching, anal
Irritation of the skin at the exit of the rectum, accompanied by the desire to scratch. The intensity of anal itching is increased by moisture, pressure, and abrasion caused by clothing and sitting. It may be caused by irritating chemicals in food (as in spices, hot sauces, and peppers); irritation due to frequent liquid stools, […]
- Itchy ear
Itching of the ears. Can be the first sign of an ear infection, but if the problem is chronic, it is more likely caused by a chronic dermatitis of the ear canal. Seborrheic dermatitis and eczema can both affect the ear canal. There is really no cure for this problem, but it can be made […]
Suffix meaning inflammation. For example, colitis is literally colon inflammation or figuratively inflammation of the colon. The ending -itis is one of the building blocks derived from Greek (in this case) or Latin used to construct medical terms.
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