May 25, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

What to do if you step on a sea urchin

If you are so unlucky and you stepped on a sea urchin while swimming, then immediately do the following.

First, don’t panic as there are some things you can do to help relieve your symptoms.

Sea urchins live in shallow and clear waters. They usually cling to rocks and if we are careful they are easy to spot. It is not recommended to clean the seabed from them, because in this case we can also “make ourselves a problem” – to prick ourselves on the needles of a sea dweller.

It is best to avoid them, or wear plastic shoes if there are a lot of stones at the bottom. Among them, there may be a sea urchin, which can be overlooked and pricked, writes

Sea urchin prick very unpleasant, and the first thing that a tourist who is overly admiring the beauty of the sea will feel is a sharp pain and burning sensation. After that, the injection site turns red and swells. All because sea ​​urchin needle – a kind of disposable syringe containing a toxin.

After a prick, the needles of a sea urchin get stuck in the tissues in much the same way as the sting of a wasp or a bee. But to get it, and this must be done, is very difficult. This needle is “made” of a fragile organosilicon compound, inside it is hollow and covered in small notches on the outside. When you try to remove it, it breaks and crumbles. Again, it is worth noting that sea ​​urchin does not set itself the task of giving you as much trouble as possible. He needs to prick the offender and lose only one needle out of a thousand, remaining whole himself.

sea ​​urchin danger double. The poison that is injected into the tissues is not capable of killing a person, there is too little of it, and it is designed for other organisms. But this substance can cause anaphylactic shock (severe allergic reaction) – a deadly situation. The needle itself “works” like an ordinary splinter, causing purulent inflammation. If there are no signs of suffocation and a sharp deterioration in health, then you can try to remove the remnants of the needle yourself. But it is not a fact that after this operation you will not have suppuration and you will not need a visit to the doctor.

First thing to do :pfeeling like stepping on thorns sea ​​urchin, get out of the water quickly. For some people, the toxins of marine organisms are very strong, and loss of consciousness leads to drowning even in shallow water. You can see the sea urchin igloo. If she dug into the joint area or entered very deeply, then do nothing at all, urgently contact a surgeon.


If you can see that the sea urchin needle is under the skin and has not penetrated into the muscles, then right on the beach, try the following steps:

  1. Pour the bite site with any alcohol solution for disinfection (even perfume will do).
  2. Recall that the organosilicon compounds that make up the needle of a sea urchin are dissolved by acid. Find a large lemon, table vinegar (5-7%) and pour a weak acid solution over the injection site.
  3. Crumble the needle with blows of a small pebble (must be clean).
  4. Treat the wound with antiseptic ointment.


If the mood is completely spoiled, and you decide to return home, then more drastic actions can be taken there:

  1. Treat the wound with an alcohol solution.
  2. Pour the injection site with a weak acid (lemon, table vinegar).
  3. Soak the injection site in hot water. Do not overdo it with the temperature, so as not to aggravate the injury from acquaintance with the marine life of the burn.
  4. Treat the affected area with antiseptic ointment.

If there is nowhere and nothing to steam the injection site, then you can use vegetable oil heated to 40ºС, which should be moistened with a cloth and applied to the affected area. Again, one must be very careful with the temperature and not aggravate the situation. The oil compress should be held for at least half an hour, preferably an hour. After that, the needles of the sea urchin are squeezed out very carefully, like splinters. It is necessary to act so that they do not crumble. After making sure that all foreign bodies from under the skin are removed, wash the treatment site with warm water and lubricate with an antiseptic.

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