Many Acadiana residents have brought back something from the beach they had no intention of getting. No, I am not talking about a hermit crab from a gift shop, I am talking about sea lice. They are officially a thing at Pensacola Beach this weekend.

The sea lice are not really lice at all. They are jellyfish larvae and they pack a similar sting as their more mature counterparts. This is the time of year from them to be growing and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico are the perfect environment.

The best way to avoid the itching and scratching of sea lice irritation is to stay out of the water. They will soon be carried away from the beach and you'll be able to get back in the waves probably in the next few days. If it's too late and you've already been "bitten" here's what you can do.

First things first, remove that swimsuit and give it a good washing. Most of the irritation from sea lice comes from them being trapped inside a swimsuit next to your skin. You certainly don't want to take a shower in a contaminated swim suit. You'll want those bathing clothes washed and dried thoroughly before you put them on next time.

You might want to take an antihistamine and apply hydrocortisone creams to make the itching and irritation a little more tolerable until it subsides after a few days. In most cases, sea lice stings are just a nuisance. However, they can escalate if there are a lot of them or the stings are not treated so don't let this slide thinking it will get better on its own.



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