Starfish and Crown of Thorns Puncture Wounds (cont.)
Starfish (Sea Star) and Crown of Thorns Puncture Wounds Treatment
If medical attention is not readily available, the following guidelines are recommended in treating a puncture wound:
- Immerse the affected area in water as hot as the person can tolerate for 30 to 90 minutes. Repeat as necessary to control pain (water temperature should not exceed 140 F or 60 C).
- Some stings may require an injected local anesthetic for pain relief.
- Use tweezers to remove any spines in the wound because symptoms may not resolve until all spines have been removed. Occasionally the spines may remain in the wound, and will require a health care professional to remove them. Scrub the wound with soap and water followed by extensive rinsing with fresh water.
- Do not cover the wound with tape or any other type of occlusive dressing as it may increase the risk of an infection. A tetanus booster is often recommended for patients with these types of wounds.
- Apply hydrocortisone cream 2 to 3 times daily as needed for itching. Discontinue immediately if any signs of infection appear.
- Oral antibiotics are usually recommended to treat an infection.
When to Seek Medical Care for a Starfish Puncture Wound
- Seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
- Consult a doctor about treatment with available medications.
Starfish and Crown of Thorns Pictures
Unlike most starfish that are typically pentamerous, the crown of thorns starfish may have as many as 23 arms and a body disk of up to 60 cm in diameter. Photo courtesy of Dee Scarr. Click to view larger image.
Detail of the crown of thorns starfish spines, which may grow to 6 cm in length. Photo courtesy of Dee Scarr. Click to view larger image.
Medically reviewed by Avrom Simon, MD; Board Certified Preventative Medicine with Subspecialty in Occupational Medicine
MedscapeReference.com. Echinoderm Envenomation Clinical Presentation.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/25/2016
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