The bristleworm is considered as a dangerous species of worm. It is an elongated segmented worm that can grow up to 1 foot in length and each segment has a pair of bristles. They are usually found in tidal waters beneath corals and rocks in tropical regions.
Even though it is not aggressive, a bristleworm might bite if handled and its bristles can puncture the skin. The spines penetrate the skin and can be hard to remove.
What are the signs of a bristleworm sting
Remember that an individual can end up with a bristleworm sting if touched and trigger the following:
- Burning sensation
The spines do not possess any venom-generating cells, thus there is no possibility for additional venom to be released when the spines are removed.
Management of a bristleworm sting
- The bristles should be removed using an adhesive tape or tweezers. A facial peel can be utilized repeatedly on the spines or a dense coating of rubber cement. When the rubber cement has dried up, peel it away to pull out any leftover spines from the skin.
- The affected skin should be cleansed carefully to avoid breaking any spines.
- Once the spines are removed, you can provide relief to the symptoms by applying vinegar, isopropyl alcohol, diluted ammonia or a solution or paste of meat tenderizer.
- Serious irritation of the skin or other reactions can greatly benefit by applying a topical corticosteroid cream or ointment.
- If there are signs of infection such as redness, drainage of pus or localized warmth, a doctor should be seen.
- Oral antibiotics are often prescribed to prevent a secondary bacterial infection.
- Pain can be relieved with pain medications that can be taken based on the dosage instructions.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on a bristleworm sting is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the signs by taking a standard first aid course with Vancouver First Aid.