Sea Lice

Sea lice are actually the microscopic larvae of jellyfish and other ocean stingers which contain the same nematocysts (stinging cells) as mommy and daddy. In many areas of the Gulf and Caribbean the primary culprit causing "sea lice" infestations is the larvae of the thimble jellyfish. These larvae, sometimes half a millimeter in length or smaller, can become trapped between the bathing suit and skin or in crevices like the armpit and compressed, causing the stinging cells to fire.

The larvae are large enough to be visible to the naked eye but become nearly invisible in the water - unfortunately the only reliable method of identifying when sea lice are present is by the appearance of the rash on other swimmers or divers. During summer months high concentrations of these stinging larvae may float in "clouds" or "blooms" that affect large areas of beach or ocean.

Symptoms of Sea Lice Bites:

Common symptoms of sea lice stings include an intensely itchy red rash with small blisters and elevated areas of skin. These painful and unsightly lesions may appear anywhere on the body but are often concentrated in areas covered by swimwear as large numbers of larvae often become trapped in these regions. Severe reactions to sea lice exposure may include fever, chills, headaches, nausea and vomiting, especially in children. Extreme allergic reactions may require hospitalization in rare cases.

Treatment with Shuttle Lotion:

If you suspect you've been exposed to sea lice, exit the water immediately, remove your bathing suit, and shower thoroughly. Do not rinse with fresh water while still wearing the suit as this will cause the stinging cells still in the fabric to fire, releasing even more venom. Do not wear the same swimsuit again until it's been thoroughly machine washed and dried. Once clean, apply Shuttle Lotion to the affected areas a couple of times each day until the discomfort disappears. Shuttle Lotion is a great item to keep in any beach bag for all kinds of bites, itches and burns that can happen at the beach !!!

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