Why Am I Allergic To Sea Water?

Question

Asked by belen

Why Am I Allergic To Sea Water?

Aug. 27,08 we had gone to the beach.i was in the water for like 30 minutes.i begin to get really itchy on my legs i ignore it think is was because i had shave my legs.Then a hour later my boyfriend notice that i had rashes around my armpit and arms.This never had happen to me before, so i get out and i notice that my legs were the same.i quickly got out the water and i stayed out side then like 5 minutes it was burning and it was really itchy i couldn't move a lot because it felt really itchy.They told me to drink milk and that it was going to help me with the rashes.About 40 minutes it when away but its still is a little itchy.That i know is that i can't eat fish or shrimp I'm allergic to it.I was think that their was fish around me but i really don't know so please help me!!

Answer

Hi Belen,

Allergic triggers are sometimes tricky to pinpoint. Of course, it is possible that shaving your legs irritated your skin enough for the salt water and/or any sunscreen you used to cause the rash.

But I'm also wondering if something called harmful algae blooms, or HAB for short, may have been at work. HAB is often called "red tide", but that is not entirely accurate. A harmful type of red tide is an overgrowth of a type of ocean algae, Karenia brevis (K brevis). It is more concentrated along Gulf of Mexico shorelines and produces highly potent airborne toxins called brevetoxins that can trigger asthma attacks. But not all red tide is harmful.

HAB is known to cause eye and throat irritation, but I'm not sure about skin irritation. If your symptoms persist or recur, you may want to contact your doctor.

To your health,

Kathi