Hydroid sting? With photo

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Danny90

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I went diving last Friday, I didn’t inflate my bcd well and I sank to the bottom of the seabed. To “break” my fall, I used my forearm to shield against a rock that’s on the seabed. Upon contact with the rock, I felt a slight stinging sensation and slight burning feeling. I didn’t pay much attention to it and continued to dive. It was until I reached home that I realised that there were tiny bumps and rashes on the area that was in contact with the rock on the seabed. It wasn’t painful or burning but just itchy. It’s been almost a week plus and it’s still there. Is there any thing I could do to help with the healing?

Is it a hydroid sting? Or something else? How Long does it usually take to heal completely?

Thanks In advance.
 

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DocVikingo

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Hi Danny90,

Both the photo and the description are suggestive of a hydroid envenomation of some sort.

Only time will tell how long complete healing will take. Two to three weeks would not be unusual, and it could be longer.

Be aware that it is possible for rash and soreness to recur after they have initially subsided. This is because antigenic material (e.g., tiny fragments of coral or hydroid) can remain in the wound. Also, a cyclic immune response can persist for weeks after an incident, sometimes longer.

Symptomatic relief may be afforded by the application of hydrocortisone (0.5 percent to 1 percent) ointment may be applied twice daily to the affected area. Benadryl cream may also be used up to four times a day. But, don't expect any miracles--topical treatments, even those that are quite potent, often offer only modest, if any, relief.

In the meantime, keep a watch for signs of wound infection, e.g., increasing redness, warmth, swelling or pain; drainage of yellow or greenish fluid (pus). Any red streaking of the skin around the wound is especially worrisome and merits immediate medical attention.

Sincerely,

DocVikingo

This is educational only and does not constitute or imply a doctor-patient relationship. It is not medical advice to you or any other individual and should not be construed as such.
 

flyboy08

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Non drowsy Claritin may alleviate the itching.
 

PACKRMAN

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Doc's answer above is probably much better than mine, however...
I had an envenomation years ago that seemed to be getting worse rather than better. I was on the verge of going to my doctor with concerns of an infection when i heard this little piece of advice. Soak a hand towel in vinegar, heat it in the microwave as hot as you can stand, apply to the affected area until it cools then do it again. The heat seems to open the pores, the vinegar REALLY goes to work. I was almost good as new the next day.
 

DocVikingo

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Hey PACKRMAN,

Indeed vinegar is almost always the preferred immediate treatment for hydroid envenomations. It should be applied quickly, liberally and frequently for the first half hour or so after getting hit. While it does not reverse the effects of venom or control pain, it may help to prevent further discharge of unfired nematocysts.

However, due the mechanical and chemical characteristics of the offending nematocysts the use of vinegar "almost a week plus" (per the OP) after envenomation generally would not be expected to have much of an impact

Sincerely,

DocVikingo

This is educational only and does not constitute or imply a doctor-patient relationship. It is not medical advice to you or any other individual and should not be construed as such.
 

Duke Dive Medicine

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Vinegar can discharge the nematocysts of some species, e.g. Australian box jellies, Atlantic Portugese man-of-war, lion's mane jellies, and Lytocarpus philippinus (a hydroid found in the tropical Indo-Pacific), so it should be used with caution in areas where those animals are found. If there's doubt, careful removal of tentacles using forceps and rinsing with copious amounts of sea water is a reasonable treatment option.

Jellyfish Stings: A Practical Approach - ScienceDirect

Best regards,
DDM
 
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