Louisiana Beachgoers Cautioned to be Wary of ‘Invisible’ Danger
The 2023 Beach Season has been one of ups and downs for Louisiana residents who love to feel the sand between their toes. Many of the state's beaches have been dealing with advisories off and on during the summer months. And many of the Florida and Alabama beaches have had issues with rip currents and dangerous wildlife this summer too.
But now we are getting reports that bathers from Southwest Louisiana all the way to the Florida Panhandle and behind are being "inconvenienced" by sea lice. I say inconvenienced because the scenario presented by the creatures is usually not life-threatening but man can these "bugs" mess up a good time at the beach.
Authorities on the Mississippi Gulf Coast as well as in Alabama and Florida say the annual migration of the sea lice toward shore has begun. The "lice" are not like the head lice you might be more familiar with. Sea lice are actually small jellyfish still in their immature or larvae stage.
The larvae tend to get stuck in clothing, swimwear, cover-ups, and the like. And when the larvae get caught between your clothing and your skin, that's when they "sting". This isn't a "bolt of lightning" like sting but you'll notice the discomfort. Then comes the itching. And because the creatures usually attack right along your swimsuit line it can make scratching that itch a bit of an embarrassment.
The best way to avoid sea lice is to just not get in the water when they are present. We are in sea lice primetime as far as that goes. They usually are at their most plentiful along the coast between April and July. You'll also want to make sure you wash and rinse out all of your beach clothes after every use, especially if you got into the water. This can reduce your interaction with them as well.
As you can see from the image below, some of the sea lice "stings" can be rather bloody and painful. So, despite their microscopic size, you do need to pay attention to advisories that might be posted at your favorite beach this summer.
If you've already been "stung" dermatologists suggest you cover the area with a cold rag or ice pack to ease the discomfort. You might take an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen to help ease any pain you might be feeling as well. Take an antihistamine if you notice redness or a rash and you can always cover the affected area with calamine lotion or a cortisone cream to help dull the pain.
As we mentioned a sea lice encounter isn't a matter of life or death but having to deal with all that itching while you're on vacation certainly isn't most people's idea of a good time.
19 Everyday Tasks That Are Now Automated