Sea sponge irritation occurs by insertion of the spicules or sensitivity or allergic response to its waste products.
Sea sponges are invertebrates that possess a permeable skeleton that includes spicules. Generally, they grow on stones, shells or other hard objects on the ocean floor.
What are the signs of sea sponge irritation?
- At first, an itchy or stinging, prickly sensation arises initially.
- A burning sensation, blister formation, pain, swollen joints and intense itchiness follows
- Lastly, if a wide exposure to certain sponges occurs, the individual might end up with fever, chills, muscle cramping, dizziness and nausea. In severe cases, erythema multiforme might develop which is a skin condition that requires medical attention.
The initial step is to carefully dry the affected area. Generally, remove any spicules from the skin using an adhesive tape, facial peeling product or rubber cement.
- At first, soak the site in acetic acid for 10-30 minutes, at least 4 times throughout the day. In case vinegar is not available, isopropyl alcohol is an alternative.
- After the primary treatment, apply hydrocortisone cream 2 times daily to lessen the itchiness if skin inflammation is present. If any signs of infection manifest, stop using the cream.
- Lessen the itchiness with diphenhydramine and ranitidine.
- If there are signs of infection such as warmth, redness, drainage of pus, increasing pain or fever, see a doctor. In addition, the doctor might prescribe antibiotics in such cases.
Remember that even the dried sponges that were not processed commercially might trigger irritation and symptoms.