Sea urchin sting
Bathers, surfers, divers, and fishermen are at risk for injuries caused by contact with sea urchins. When accidentally stepped upon, picked up, or brushed up against, spines can puncture the skin, causing severe burning and pain that is typically out of proportion to the injury. The pain often lasts for several hours and then becomes a dull ache that can radiate centrally. The area around the spine may swell, become inflamed, and feel numb. Black discoloration due to ink from the spines at puncture sites may be seen and last for days. Uncomplicated wounds heal within a week or two.
Complications include retained spines, secondary infection, ulceration, and delayed hypersensitivity.
Envenomation by some species can cause severe systemic symptoms. Malaise, weakness, shock, and bulbar or respiratory paralysis have been reported.
T63.691A – Toxic effect of contact with other venomous marine animals, accidental, initial encounter
217685001 – Puncture by sea urchin spine
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls
- Arthropod bites
- Marine animal bites
- Lionfish spine puncture
- Scorpionfish spine puncture
- Sea snake envenoming
- Stingray spine puncture
- Stonefish spine puncture
- Weeverfish spine puncture