How to Treat Sea Lice Bites

How to Treat Sea Lice Bites. Sea lice bites are a common occurrence for those who swim in the Caribbean Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the waters off the coast of the Eastern and Western United States. Sea lice are tiny jellyfish larvae with stinging cells. Their bites usually appear underneath your bathing suit as a red rash with tiny blisters. Learn to treat sea lice bites and alleviate their associated symptoms.

Reduce the itching associated with sea lice bites with household kitchen products such as vinegar and meat tenderizer. Shake meat tenderizer over the reddened area and then pour vinegar over it. Repeat the process until the itching sensation subsides.

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Try over-the-counter topical products. Ointments with hydro-cortisone help reduce redness and itching. Apply the ointment to the sea lice bites according to the package instructions.

Take over-the-counter oral medication. Oral antihistamines such as Benydryl reduce redness and itching. Take according to package instructions.

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Apply over-the-counter antibiotic ointments. Topical antibiotic ointments reduce the chances of secondary infections caused by sea lice bites. Use according to the package instructions.

Visit your doctor if symptoms persist. Sea lice bites can last for as little as 2 days or as long as 2 weeks. Rashes that last longer may indicate a secondary infection.


If you suspect you have sea lice bites while you are swimming in the ocean, get out of the water, remove your bathing suit and shower immediately. Do not use that bathing suit again unit it has been machine washed and dried completely.


Some people experience extreme allergic reactions to sea lice bites. Some symptoms of an allergic reaction include headache, fever, chills, nausea and vomiting. Seek immediate medical help if you experience any of these symptoms.