avoidance, prevention, and cures
I'm planning to scuba and snorkle and I already own a shorty wetsuit.
I've heard that the thimble jellyfish are spawning in May and I'm worried
about my legs being exposed, particularly while snorkling
You don't feel anything until hours after the exposure.
It's the larvae of the thimble jellyfish that causes the problem. . They
normally "pick on" the softer parts of the body such as the neck, behind the
ears and also the underarms and crotch. Back of the knees is another hotspot.
Often people get the rash if they put a previously infested wetsuit or
swimming costume back on without washing it thoroughly.The stinging
nematocysts within the larvae or egg are very hardy and stay functional long
after the host is dead.
Good prevention methods: 1. use lots of greasy sunscreen on vunerable parts
of the body, but beware of slipping on the deck of the boat because of
over-greasing. Greasy sunscreen ensures that the larvae and eggs can't stick
to your skin. 2. Apply lots of white vinegar to the exposed parts of the body
after each immersion..this immobilizes most of the stinging nematocysts. 3.
Wash your wetsuit/swimming suit thoroughly after each immersion. Don't walk
around in a wet swimming suit after swimming in the sea. 4. When showering
off after a dive or swim (after leaving the vinegar on your skin for a couple
of minutes), run the water over your body without rubbing for the first
minute or so. The stinging nematocysts are activated by mechanical pressure
(ie. rubbing etc.)
If you do get a mild attack, gently blot the affected area with ammonia based
window cleaner such as Windex. Take a little Benadryl. If the symptons get
bad, go to the doctor and he will give you an effective "jab" to relieve the