What do you do to get rid of sea lice

As explained by Nola.com, purple or blue flags on the beach signify marine pests in the water, such as jellyfish, stingrays and dangerous fish.

Beyond scanning the beach for purple flags, health officials suggest wearing a tight-fitting wetsuit, like those used by divers, if you suspect sea lice are present in the water. Wearing a T-shirt or other loose-fitting clothes in the waves is frowned upon, as they increase the amount of fabric in which the organisms can become trapped. Similar, women are advised to wear two-piece swimsuits as opposed to one-piece suits, reducing the risk of a more severe reaction.

Some evidence suggests that certain topical sunscreens can prevent the skin from being penetrated by nematocysts, the stinging structures present in jellyfish and sea anemones, according to the Florida Department of Health. Certain commercial lotions claim to provide protective barriers against sea lice stings.

Sea lice is the common term used for one group of parasitic copepods which occur naturally on fish world-wide. Copepods are crustaceans - minute marine or freshwater crustaceans usually having six pairs of limbs on the thorax; some abundant in plankton and others parasitic on fish.

Applying antihistamines and hydrocortisone creams can treat the itchiness and rash that result from sea lice exposure, Florida health officials say. More severe reactions may benefit from a corticosteroid cream, and the recurrence of symptoms could improve with oral or intramuscular steroids.

For children, bathing in colloidal oatmeal and applying calamine lotion can help reduce rash and itchiness. Experts recommend that parents keep their kids' fingernails trimmed to prevent them from scratching the lesions and spreading the rash.

In latest news, an Aussie boy is recovering after tiny creatures – likely sea lice – attacked his legs at a beach in Brighton, a Melbourne suburb.

According to a report by the Guardian and the Australian Associated Press, 16-year-old Sam Kanizay of Melbourne went to the beach Saturday to soak his legs after a soccer game. But when he got out of the water 30 minutes later, his legs were numb, bloody and "covered in what his family said were tiny marine creatures eating his legs," the article said. Read more of the report at AJC.com.

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