There are many kinds of stings, scrapes, and cuts you can get from being in the ocean.
Jellyfish stings leave raised, red marks called welts. The welts may last for 1 to 2 weeks. You may also get an itchy skin rash. This can appear 1 to 4 weeks after the sting.
Portuguese man-of-war stings make a red line with small white sores. In severe cases, they cause blisters and welts. These can look like a string of beads.
Seabather's eruption is a type of rash. You can get it after a sting by a jellyfish or sea anemone larvae. It can be itchy and annoying. But it usually goes away without treatment in 10 to 14 days.
Coral scrapes and cuts may take weeks or months to heal completely.
There are different things you can do to care for yourself at home. You may need to wash the sting or scrape. Or you may need to change a bandage. Your doctor may give you medicine to take. Or you may get medicine to put on the affected area.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if the rash, sting, or scrape is not getting better each day.
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Current as of: March 20, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
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