Have you ever gotten sea urchin spines on your foot while swimming at the beach? It’s an extremely painful experience, especially when they’re deeply embedded into your skin. If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in this situation, you can use this step-by-step guide to help you remove sea urchin spines easily and quickly. The key is to be patient and not to pull out the spine right away if it’s causing you pain.
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If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of stepping on sea urchin spines, you know that it’s no walk in the park. The barbed spines are extremely painful and difficult to remove without proper treatment, and even then they can lead to infections if not handled properly. But it’s possible to remove sea urchin spines at home with an incredibly simple trick that takes only minutes and leaves no trace of injury.
Let’s face it, sea urchin spines can be painful if you step on one and get them stuck in your foot. The good news is that there are several ways to remove the spines, some more effective than others depending on the size of the spine and where it’s located in your foot. Here are some easy ways to remove sea urchin spines from your foot or another part of your body without spending all day in a doctor’s office getting anesthetic injections and risking infection from improperly removing the spine yourself with tweezers or pliers.
The Easiest Way to Remove Sea Urchin Spines
Did you ever get a sea urchin spine stuck in your foot while swimming at the beach? It’s one of the most painful experiences imaginable. If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in this situation, this step-by-step guide will help you get rid of sea urchin spines quickly and easily. You need to be patient and not yank the spine out if it is painful.
To remove sea urchin spines, you’ll need a fresh water source (stream or hose), vinegar, and baking soda. Remove any jewelry from your feet before beginning. Flush your foot with water from a freshwater source, like a hose or stream. This will help dilute any remaining spines that are lodged in your skin. Then soak your foot in 2-3 cups of vinegar for 10 minutes or longer (note: avoid burning yourself by soaking directly in boiling vinegar). The acidity of the vinegar will neutralize toxins left over from the spines and decrease pain associated with future pricks and contact. The acids also eat away any tissue surrounding leftover spines, making them easier to remove later on.
Tools and Materials
Tonge tips, pliers, tweezers, a bowl of water mixed with vinegar (1 part vinegar and 2 parts water), and gauze. There are tools specifically designed for removing sea urchin spines such as Tonge tips and pliers. However, we recommend using tweezers if you have them available. And in a pinch, you can use scissors or even needle-nose pliers or flathead screwdrivers with care. For smaller spines, take hold of them directly with your tweezers and tug gently away from your skin before dipping them into a bowl of water mixed with vinegar. After removing any external pieces dip in the bowl again and check tweezers after each dip to make sure they’re clear before moving on to the next step.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, then remove any clothing covering your feet. Dry both feet well before proceeding. Put on a pair of thick rubber gloves and remove any sea urchin spines you can see with tweezers or needle-nose pliers; you should be able to easily pluck them out by hand. If some are still lodged in your skin, soak both feet in hot water for five minutes, then try removing them again. If they’re still firmly embedded, it’s time to call a doctor—either head to an urgent care center or visit an emergency room immediately if one is available where you live.
Using too much salt will cause sea urchin spines to dissolve, allowing you to remove them easily. The sooner you can remove sea urchin spines from your foot, though, the better; once they’ve burrowed in under your skin, it can be a lot more difficult. In fact, removing sea urchin spines isn’t easy at all—but with these tips, you can get back in line and run before you know it.