Coral scratches

Posted By: PAUL T

Coral scratches - 09/06/00 06:27 PM

Another little predicament.... my wife managed to get to close to some coral at Hol Chan (she didn't break it, thank God) and scrathed the side of her leg. It's kind of weird because it's not heeling very quickly, it's been 5 days now since we came back home, and it burns her quite a lot. We haven't gone to the doctor yet, but is there something that she can put on it that we'll help. It's not like a normal cut. Is it coral poisoning or something ?
Posted By: stevenalice

Re: Coral scratches - 09/06/00 07:37 PM

I've been scratched by coral and had the same problem. It could be that the scrapes are just infected, which means some antibiotic cream or ointment should help the healing. Or, it could be a reaction to the coral's stinging cells. Some (maybe all?) corals have nematocysts, which are stingings cells designed to inject venom into prey (tiny amounts, but still could cause a reaction in humans). It's like getting stung by a jellyfish, and like jellyfish there's varying degrees of how much it stings. If the antibiotic cream doesn't do the trick, I'd go to the doctor.

Posted By: Chloe

Re: Coral scratches - 09/06/00 07:53 PM

Alice welcome to the board, you are very knowledgable, and we appreciate your info.
Posted By: Debbie

Re: Coral scratches - 09/06/00 08:22 PM

My son had a small one as well. We took antibiotic ointment with us, and was glad we did. We used a triple antibiotic cream. It fights several different bacterias. Last year off of Cozumel, my husband got scratched on the coral pretty bad. It also took a long time to heal. The worst part was the scar. Very white. Saw several guides with these white scars in Ambergris as well. I'd go to the doctor if it's a bad cut........
Also go to
They have lots of information on the coral etc. They also have an email address and could help you with information. If anyone could help you, they could

[This message has been edited by Debbie (edited 09-06-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Debbie (edited 09-06-2000).]
Posted By: PAUL T

Re: Coral scratches - 09/06/00 11:04 PM

Thank you all
Posted By: Sandshaker

Re: Coral scratches - 09/06/00 11:21 PM

I haven't had a problem with coral yet...had a couple close calls though.
I always carry a bottle of meat tenderizer in my dive bag. It's good for jelly fish stings. The enzyme in it neutralizes the toxin. Don't know about coral scrapes though. I wouldn't recommend it though if you suspect it may be infected. It sounds very painful....ouch!
Makes me hurt thinking about it....LOL
I would agree that if the antibiotic cream doesn't help in a day or so....or at least see some improvement....see a Dr. before it gets out of hand.
Good luck and our best wishes for her speedy recovery!

Re: Coral scratches - 09/06/00 11:35 PM

This topic has gotten far too informative and serious. SS, does that mean that after getting a jelly fish bite you have to stay away from BBQs for a day or so? I just got a bottle out of the pantry and put it in SWMBO's dive bag. Told that you said she had to rub it all over before putting on her dive skin next time. It was an island tradition.

Seriously, any scratches from the sea that don't heal pretty quick need some sort of medical attention and advice. Right now we are fooling with a Caribbean ear infection from 2 weeks ago. (She also can't hear me very well, so it's working pretty GOOD).
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