The Pensacola Beach Lifeguards placed purple flags along their beaches located in Florida. This is to caution beachgoers and bathers about the increasing attacks of “sea lice.”
Purple flags signify the presence of hazardous marine life within the beach. Sea lice, which are a type of small jellyfish, can become epidemic depending on the time and location.
The Department of Health in Florida stated that “sea lice” often refers to “seabather’s eruption.” It is caused by the thimble jellyfish. This type of jellyfish is mostly found within the Atlantic Ocean, especially along the Bahamas and the West Indies.
They should not be confused with “sea louse,” which is a different aquatic life.
A “seabather’s eruption” is an irritating form of dermatitis. It is an effect of over sensitiveness to the instilling of juvenile thimble jellyfish into a person’s skin. During the injection of these jellyfish, the person affected will feel a tingling sensation.
The stings from the thimble jellyfish can cause red rashes that can become itchy and painful at the same time. These rashes will become visible to the skin between 4 and 24 hours following the contact.
The reports stated that these sea lice cases happen from March to August. They are around 250 miles of beaches in Florida, from the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the panhandle. However, they are most rampant from May to June.
If you come in contact with sea lice and the irritation is moderate, apply calamine lotion to the affected area and take some antihistamine orally. However, if the hypersensitivity is severe, you must seek medical attention immediately. Doctors will usually prescribe you an oral corticosteroid.
Before hitting the beach, make sure to warn your loved ones and peers about sea lice and what seabather’s eruption can do to their skin!