In the sea, it is not uncommon to run into jellyfish, weever and sea urchins. Therefore,
it is important to realize that once in the water, a jellyfish can sting their victim with their tentacles, affecting the victim’s entire body.  Skin irritation occurs due to contact with a substance that is released during the jellyfish’s sting, by the opening of their vesicles. The weever fish (also called spider fish) tend to hide in the sand and are most often trampled. They have rather sharp spines and can inject their victim with a powerful poison. Sea urchins also have spines that tend to affect the victim’s hands and feet.

What are the symptoms associated with sea creature bites and stings?

A prick with from a weever provokes severe pain that is almost unbearable, especially for children. The contact is usually with the feet and the pain may spread to the entire leg. The skin also becomes irritated and swells up.

Stepping on a hedgehog can generate pain and discomfort.

Coming into contact with a jellyfish can create symptoms such as a painful burning sensation (duration tends to vary). The skin reacts by breaking out, much similar to the hives. A more severe clinical picture is characterized by symptoms such as:

  • Headache
  • Large rash
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pale skin

What to do

In the case of a weever sting, it is advisable encourage the individual affected to remain calm and give them a painkiller if necessary. If they begin to display symptoms such as difficulty breathing or a drop in blood pressure, it is vital to take them to the emergency room as soon as possible.

The spines of urchins are equipped with small hooks and once penetrated into the skin, it is not so easy to get them out. This is why it is advisable to consult with a doctor for the most appropriate form of treatment. Without the right equipment, the spikes may get pushed deeper or even break, causing abscesses and infections. 

In case of a jellyfish sting, it is advisable to wash the affected area with salt water (never fresh water) and then proceed to remove residual filaments with the aid of a plastic card (such as a credit card or membership card) or a smooth knife, to avoid breaking and releasing further stinging substance. Afterwards, it is necessary to apply specific medical products to the wound, readily available at pharmacies. If more generalized symptoms as described above present themselves, it is vital to go to the emergency room.

What not to do

If you come in contact with a weever, applying heat to the affected area can help make some of the venom (toxins) inactive. Avoid putting water or sand on it in order to prevent infections. These do-it-yourself remedies can help provide some relief though they do not improve the situation in any way.

In case of a jellyfish sting, it is advisable NOT to:

  • Scratch the affected area
  • Rub the affected area with sand or stones
  • Apply urine, ammonia, alcohol or vinegar to the affected area (they may worsen the situation)


Disclaimer: The information in this article does not in any way replace the intervention or signs associated with this type of emergency, but rather only provides simple tips as how to keep the situation under control while waiting for a medical rescue team to arrive.