Sea Lice in Cancun - Prevention
How to prevent sea lice from spoiling
In order to help prevent sea lice affecting your
cancun vacation it is first important to understand how and why
the thimble jellyfish larvae trigger their nematocysts ('stingers'
to non biologists) and then see what you can do with your own actions
in order to minimise the risk.
Why do sea lice sting?
Each larva has many of these nematocysts or stinging
cells located all over it's body. Pressure alone is often enough
to cause them to fire. The pressure between your body and your swimsuit,
as friction is caused by the action of swimming in the Ocean, is
enough to provoke them into firing. Being trapped in body creases
such as the joints of the arms and legs, or even against your neck
because of long hair, annoys the hell out of them.
Increased friction such as may be caused by sitting
on a surfboard, wearing a wet costume on a lounger, on a bus or
in a taxi increases the risk.
What can I do to decrease the risk?
When it comes to sea lice, less is more. Because
the stinging action is triggered mainly by swimsuits then I
would recommend ladies swim naked or at least only wearing a
Seriously though, the smaller the amount of
skin covered the smaller the area of risk exposed. So certainly
avoid T shirts or long baggy shorts.
When you've left the water then instead of
showering in fresh water with your suit on, make your way back
to your room and shower thoroughly after taking off your costume
before wearing a dry change of clothes to go back to the beach.
If you're away from your room, bring a spare
costume with you and change into it before you shower in the
fresh water. Wear a dry costume and shower in that. You'll soon
dry off again in the hot Cancun sun.
Swimming costumes that have been used
during sea lice outbreaks should be thoroughly cleaned
with detergent and heat dried. If you just throw it on
your balcony and use it the next day, chances are there
will be critters left inside and they wont take kindly
to their night on the tiles.
There is some evidence that suntan lotion
inhibits the firing of the stingers, and more evidence
that the special formulae of Safe
Sea is more effective than regular lotions.
If you have a history of severe reactions
then perhaps consider confining your swimming activities
to the pool if a confirmed outbreak is known of.
Be sure to read our sea
lice treatment guide before leaving for Cancun