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Re: PicaPica #38163
04/27/01 12:49 PM
04/27/01 12:49 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 0
Sunkissed Offline
Sunkissed  Offline
Not sure if what I got was this pica pica thing, But I developed a rash which I thought might be a heat rash with the way it looked about 3 days before we left to come home. It started out on the back of my arms then proceeded down the rest of my arm. Great thing to happen when all you want to do is show off your great tan and you have to keep it covered because you look like you have the plague. We got home on a Saturday and by Monday it spread to my legs. Needless to say I went to the doctor and he gave me a prescription for a cortizon cream (over the counter wasn't helping) and had me take Aphran. This helped a lot and was gone within three or four days. I thought maybe I'd had an allergic reaction to something I'd maybe eaten. I hate when things like this happen, just kinda creeps me out. Still have no idea what it actually was.

Re: PicaPica #38164
04/27/01 01:04 PM
04/27/01 01:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 683
Chicago, Illinois USA
B_b_f_b Offline
B_b_f_b  Offline
Did you get a fever or anything along with the rash? I'm no doctor (although I play one on tv) but it sounds so much like sea scratch. I itched so much I ended up with a fever. Also forgot to mention that I used a cortisone cream (1% or 2% something like that) and it really helped. Don't scratch because I gained a scar from that lovely stuff. I've cought it in Grand Cayman too. I think they call it different things in different places, so it very well may be that pica pica stuff just renamed in Jamaica, sea scratch (also known as sea lice). Remember, DON'T scratch it might scar.

Re: PicaPica #38165
04/27/01 04:03 PM
04/27/01 04:03 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 555
Laguna Beach, CA, USA
munichchick Offline
munichchick  Offline
Yep! It is thimble jellyfish larvae and in the Mexican Caribbean they call it Aquamale.
I had 2 encounters with them at Xpuha Beach, Riviera Maya and diving at Palancar Reef both in May 2 years in a row. The first encounter was horrible because I was swimming in this warm shallow area where there must have been millions of these. The water was super clear and you can not see them at all. They went in my bikini bottoms and in all the sensitive privat areas ;(. Thank goodness I was not wearing a top.
I looked like I had a sexual transmitted illness and could barly sit on my behind. Locals gave me vinegar and some cream but was not much help. You don't feel while it happens until hours later I woke up with blisters and itchy as hell at night. Luckely it was on our last vacation day but the flight home and the next day sitting in my office chair was no fun. Hard thing to explain your boss you have to go home early because your butt is itching. Ha, Ha! Here are some tips.
1. Swim naked when possible because they only sting when they get trapped.
2. Since most likely this will not be possible. Put on Sun oil that is suposed to help. And bring vinegar with you so you can put it on if you have the slightest feeling.
3. Put on Benadryl cream and take Benadryl pills against the itiching.
4. Do not scratch because the rash will spread just like poison ivy. But that is easier said than done because you will be super itchy for a week.
5. Season is April to begin of June.
Hey, but even that will not keep me out of this beautiful ocean. Notice we will get the second week of June hoping Jellyseason will be over by than.

Re: PicaPica #38166
04/27/01 06:56 PM
04/27/01 06:56 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 2
Vancouver, BC, Canada
VancouverGirl Offline
VancouverGirl  Offline
Where can I pick up some Safe Sea Jellyfish & Sea Lice Safe Sun Block? We'll be there next week.

Re: PicaPica #38167
04/27/01 07:44 PM
04/27/01 07:44 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 9
Vadnais Heights, Minnesota USA
MaryTom Offline
MaryTom  Offline
I've read the postings on this subject and I feel I have to share this with you, we went to San Pedro in March, did the Hol Chan and shark Ray Ally Snorkling tour, when I was snorkling Hol Chan, I got STUNG, I knew it immediatley and got a leg cramp right aftrwards, when I got back to the boat it immediatly swelled up , it was on my thigh. I put an ice bag on it, along with some "cortaid" I had brought along.

I thought it was a jellyfish, but I'm starting to wonder, when we got back to the states I had to see a Doctor, he gave me cotazone pills to relieve the pain, and lotion to relieve the itch, I still have a mark that is about 3X2 iches wide...

Not sure what it was, but it hit hard, and I remember seeing some sea grass just prior to being stung.. OUCH..

I will return to Hol Chan, but will wear a wet suit next time!

You can still see where I was stung, it's still bumpy but it dosn't hurt anymore.

I thought maybe sea nettles? Our guide said it was a jelly fish, but Man, it must have was a big one then, and it hurt instantly.

Re: PicaPica #38168
04/27/01 08:25 PM
04/27/01 08:25 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
seashell Offline
seashell  Offline
Jellyfish stings can leave quite serious scarring.

With regard to where you can buy Safe Sea, first ask at your local dive shops. After that, you can try 888-278-6854 or on line at I don't know if this telephone # and web address are the only place on the web that you can get it or not. If you searched Nidaria on the web, you might find something that way too. Good luck. Let me know how it works out.

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

Re: PicaPica #38169
04/28/01 09:46 AM
04/28/01 09:46 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 23
bzgial Offline
bzgial  Offline
Gaz pretty much described what Pica Pica is, and it is called different names in different parts of the world, sea bather's eruption, sea scratch, etc.
There is excellent information provided by Green Reef, a non-profit reef conservation organization in San Pedro. You can visit their website and read some of their articles on Pica Pica.
There are many other good articles on marine life in the section called Reef Notes and I am sure they would appreciate the support of some of you 'regulars'. //

Couple of points:
- Sea grasses have attached to them thousands of minute living plants and animals, one in particular, a tiny anemone (animal with tentacles) that can deliver a rather nasty sting.
- Not all jellyfish sting, sometimes the larva (baby) delivers a worse sting than the adult as in the thimble jellies
- If an elongated welt like wound occurs on your body after swimming, you may possibly have come in contact with the trailing tentacle of a larger jellyfish such as the box jelly or worse yet a Portuguese man-o-war (not a true jelly. Pica Pica will not deliver this type of sting, it is more like hundreds of little pricks with a needle.
-Finally, don't let this deter you from going in the water - it hasn't me and I had the worse bout with Pica Pica a few years back off of one of the southern cayes.

Re: PicaPica #38170
04/28/01 10:37 AM
04/28/01 10:37 AM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 1,205
Falls Church VA
Axeman Offline
Axeman  Offline
Hi All,
Just got back last night...Gaz has the "Skinny" on the pica pica...I just kept the sunblock on and was just fine...only got hit on my lip...DOH...the only place I DID'NT put the screen...When it's calm they seem to pool on the surface...we only had 1 day like that...I hardly noticed them....

Life May Be a Beach...I prefer Reefs...
Re: PicaPica #38171
05/01/01 05:31 PM
05/01/01 05:31 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 22
llp Offline
llp  Offline
Those of you heading down and worried about the itch, bring some Diprosone Cream with you or pick some up at a local pharmacy, it's the most effective relief for the itch from pica pica!!!

Re: PicaPica #38172
05/01/01 05:50 PM
05/01/01 05:50 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 9
Fallbrook, Ca.
BadKitty Offline
BadKitty  Offline
I think I had the Pica Pica on my legs last year from snorkeling in Cozumel. At first I thought they were bug bites, but it was worse than that. Then the men at the hotel kept saying "bad water, bad water". Oh did it hurt!

I am planning on going to AC this summer, I will be sure to take precautions.

Thanks for all the info!

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