Sea urchin stings

Treading on a sea urchin is painful but not usually dangerous, as the majority are non-venomous.

The spines are fragile and break off in the skin. Superficial spines can be dissolved by soaking the affected area in vinegar several times per day and/or applying a vinegar compress.

If the area shows signs of infection, antibiotics may be necessary. Rarely surgical removal of a deep spine may be necessary.

Further information

This article published on
26 January 2006

Next review date 1/1/2013


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