Monday, August 4, 2008

Suffering Sea Lice!

Ooook, so what was supposed to be a nice post about a terrific day at the beach has turned into a "I Got an Owie!" post. If you swim in the waters around here anytime between March and August you takes yer chances with having some little critters make themselves at home in your 'kini. Sea lice (thimble jellyfish, aguas malas, pulgas del mar, sea bather's eruption) are tiny "noseeum" jellyfish that cause itchy red rashes and can bring with them other symptoms such as nausea, headache, diarrhea and general malaise. Symptoms don't appear right away, usually (for me anyway) you start to feel the itch about 24 hours after swimming. The little buggers like to get in under your swimsuits and stay awhile, so the rash is pretty centralized to the bikini areas. Uh huh, nothing like walking around trying desperately not to scratch my boobs and er, other areas! Luckily this bout is really concentrated on my ahem, upper region. It looks like I've got a really localized case of the measles and it ITCHES like a mother#$!@#%#$%. Of course I am the only affected one, Max and Hubby walked away scot free, as did a couple of other people we saw at the beach yesterday. I must be delicious! I've got a cream to help relieve the symptoms, but nothing is 100% and I am still quite uncomfortable. Eh, ni modo, we'll be back out there again next week.

Hubby won't let me post the pictures of my spotted mammaries (of course I took pictures!), sorry! I'll have some photos and a video up tomorrow of our day at the beach in Puerto Morelos (no pics of the sea lice of course, they're camera shy.)

Off to slather on the crema, I'm starting to feel the burn!


Fned said...

oops! Sorry you got bitten. I remember those things... my parents always said you had to pee on yourself to stop the itch (remember that episode on Friends?) but I never dared to try it. Yuck!

In any case, I hope the cream works and your boobs stop itching soon! LOL


Anonymous said...

Kelly, please check out my comment on November 29, 2007. It doesn't relate to this post, but concerns Max's love of iguanas.

I don't know if you have something that notifies you of comments on past posts. :)

Jonna said...

Here's what I know from years of diving about aqua mala. They don't really get under your skin. They are the spawn of the thimble jellyfish and they get trapped against your skin by your bathing suit and when they dry out, they fire their little killers and that's what causes the rash.

So, what to do? A lot of dive instructors rub vaseline on their skin to keep them from touching the skin. Everyone, grabs water as soon as they get out of the sea and rinses themselves especially covered areas. Another nugget of info is that they actually effect locals worse than tourists because you have increased reaction to them the more times you are stung. My guess is that hubby and Max had loose swim shorts that didn't trap them against their skin.

Cortisone works pretty well in crema, we once had to get a friend a shot of it because she had such a bad reaction. She was a dive guide and had gotten it almost every dive for a week culminating in a huge rash over most of her body covered by a shorty skin. Bad news.

Sorry it got you but try vaseline and carrying enough water to rinse inside your suit when you get out next week.

Islagringo said...

Judging from what I've seen, I'm not the least bit surprised they went for you where they did! Damn irresistible target(s) for sure!

Seriously, feel better soon!

Anonymous said...

Ouch!! They like the sweet stuff :)I've heard the vaseline theory works. Give it a try. Can't wait for the beach pics. Feel better soon!
KW from Michigan

barry said...

Bummer Kelly,, ( literally) , They are nasty Boogers and Jonna is exactly Right, they are the larva of Thimble jellyfish ,about 0.5mm in size ,invisable in water and do the dirty deed when they get trapped between you and a swimsuit, The friction makes the nematocysts fire but unlike the bigger boys you dont know it till some time later .I wish there was a magic potion but most treatments as suboptimal . Best is prevention and they do have a product called SAFE SEA.. a lotion that deters( not prevents) stings and the post swim flush( I would like to add to what jonna said, since fresh water also triggers firing , remove your suit before you do and definately wash it between uses, you can have dried organisms get you.) Post Facto The use of antihistamine( ie benadryl, periactin ,atarax )and anti-itch creams( benadryl and hydrocortisone ) and tincture of time are about it . Unfort. most of the OTC stuff is too weak. you may need Mid level Steroid ( triamcinolone) or even an Injection or oral taper dose for sever reactions . Good Luck and I hope it resolves soon .. and BTW,, I think it is very Selfish your Husband Wont allow you to post pics,, .. not for me ,mind you ,I have seen Bather's Eruption.. for those poor souls that haven't,,(did that work..) see you at the beach .

Susan Lechuga said...

Ouch sorry that you are uncomfortable. I have never dealt with this buggers but they sound very uncomfortable. I cannot wait until we get some pictures of you and the beach.

Islaholic Trixie said...

I end up getting the rash on my hands every trip. Probably because I'm sifting through the sand for sea glass and such. End up with a rash on the palms of my hands almost every trip now. I know how bad they can itch!!! I say, let the girls breathe!!!

CancunCanuck said...

fned- That episode of Friends always cracks me up, it's true! But, it only really works if it's right after getting out of the water, I didn't think to strip down and have someone pee on me at the beach, lol!

Sandye- Thanks, I'll head over there to post a reply (I do get notifications but I appreciate you checking in on a recent post, welcome!)

Jonna- Thanks for the tips! So, now I have to bring baby powder to get the sticky sand off (LisaLove's brilliant tip!) and Vaseline for the aguas malas...going to have a pharmacy in our bags! I've got some OTC hydrocortizone, but it doesn't seem to be doing too much, at least it takes the edge off.

IslaGringo- LMAO. Aren't you the charmer? :)

KW- Beach pics coming soon, promise! Vaseline sounds kind of fun actually, lol!

Barry- This isn't my first bout sadly, lol! Some folks say the Safe Sea (or Sea Safe, I think there are two different companies) don't do much at all and it's not available here. I've got some OTC cream that takes the edge off, but I'm frequently applying. I think I can get through without anything stronger, it's pretty localized and I don't think it's going to get worse. Thanks for the expert POV! And yeah, sorry, no pics today. ;-)

My3ros- Think diaper rash on your boobs, LOL. Just uncomfortable and itchy, no real sickness this time (though I am grumpy, haha).

Trixie- The girls are breathing, LOL! Hmm, rash on the hands? That might actually be microscopic cuts from the coral if you are digging in the sand, itchy nasty yuck! There are also sand fleas, but I think you would know if you were being bit. Rubber gloves going in the suitcase for the next trip? :)

JoAnne in CT said...

Oh, those suckers are horrible!! I snokeled through a mass of thimble jelly fish in the Cayman Islands - I SAW them coming at me - YIKES!! I got the hell outta there REAL quick and rinsed off, but still had a few itchy spots. Dreadful!

Kathy said...

We have a beach just north of "our" beach that we go nekkid at. We were there nekkid Sunday when one of the guards wanted to check in with us. Sheesh! No agua mala here but we did see a jelly. Oh, and a GIGANTIC LONG FISH. Got the kids out of the water for that one.

No swimsuit, no little buggers munching away. Well, that's what I tell the kids. :) Next time give us a call. Course, we don't have the scenery that PM does. Dayum! BIEN preparadas!

Kathy said...

oh, and I'm going to see if I can't find the name of Domeboro down here - it is anti-itch and helps a LOT.

Somebody said...

Ah you poor thing, and I thought red bugs in S.C. were bad ... I don't want sea lice for sure!

LMAO@ the gringo :)


P.S. Using Vaseline makes sense but sounds kinky no?

CancunCanuck said...

Joanne- Aw, you got the adult ones, flipper away, flipper away!!! Seeing them is a bonus, the microscopic ones do all the dang damage!

Harvestmoon- Oooh, Nekkid Sundays, I love it! Remind me what your email is, I can't find the comment you posted it on. Or you can just email me at cancuncanuck at gmail dot com. Domeboro?? Never heard of it! :)

Lisa (LGMB)- Kinky indeed, LMAO! Yeah, avoiding sea lice is a good idea, but them being invisible and all makes it a tough thing! And you don't know when they are there, technically the season is March to August, but they are there year round if you are unlucky enough to get caught.

All- Still ITCHY and the spots are getting crusty (too much info?). We ran into my boss at the same beach that day and apparently her 8 month old baby has broken out with it too, pobrecita chiquita with sea lice on her bum! The hydrocortizone cream combined with caladryl seems to do the trick a bit, though I have to reapply often. The thing that feels best is a nice, cold shower, awww!

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