Sea Lice at South Jersey Beaches – What They Are & How to Treat
We have Tropical Storm Isaias to thank for a recent outbreak of sea lice at some South Jersey beaches. Sea lice, the larvae of stinging jellyfish, have been reported at beaches in Stone Harbor, Avalon and Ocean City.
Sea lice can cause burning sensations and rashes, including a skin reaction known by such colorful names as seabather’s eruption, pika-pika, sea poisoning, sea critters and ocean itch.
The most common signs of being bitten are bumps or a rash, and they usually show up about 24 hours — or sooner — after exposure. In some cases, the rash can last a few days or up to several weeks.
One beach-goer described the bite of sea lice to ajc.com this way. "It felt like sand on your clothes and then it started to feel like things were biting you. If you, like, scratch, it will feel like sand and if you look, you'll see a clear thing with blue eyes."
If you think you have been been bitten, it's recommended rinsing off after swimming and washing out your bathing suits with fresh water.
The rash can be treated with hydrocortisone and antihistamine creams available at most drug stores. Severe cases can require medical treatment.
Sources: ABC News via Youtube/ajc.com