Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

severe allergic reaction after ocean swims

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 6 Replies
  • Posted By: pangolin19
  • February 19, 2009
  • 09:57 PM


Three times after swimming in three different oceans (Atlantic, Med, Caribbean) I have what I assume were severe allergic reactions: badly swollen feet, lips, and throat, and multiple severe oral ulcers. The first incident led to an emergency referral for suspected Stephens-Johnson syndrome, though this turned out to be incorrect. But it was that severe -- I was unable to swallow for a week, treated with Prednisone. Since then, the next two occurrences were less and less severe, but still debilitating.

Is this a reaction to an algal toxin or something similar? Since the reaction seems to be getting less intense with each exposure, is this an indication of decreasing sensitivity to whatever allergen is the cause? Has anyone heard of anything similar?

Reply Flag this Discussion

6 Replies:

  • I have heard of algae causing allergies, if this is at all helpful...I swim in the Med a lot (I'm Greek) and despite the fact that I'm not allergic, even if a piece of it touches a part of my body it gets all red and irritated. Nothing as serious as your reaction though, but it might be a possibility.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 20, 2009
    • 07:51 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Sea-bathers eruption is on areas under your swim suit. There are numerous skin reactions to ocean swimming but usually on skin, not in the mouth and are usually marine life. Did you put on sun-block first? Maybe that's what you are allergic to. Many foods are using sea salt, be careful.
    rad-skw 1,605 Replies
    • February 21, 2009
    • 10:47 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Salt baths are used over time as a type of detoxification. It could be that you have some type of systemic poisoning and the salt in the water is pulling it out. I would be careful to say that this is what your problem is, but only a speculation.detox program:http://healingtools.tripod.com/thn10.html
    Monsterlove 2,921 Replies
    • February 22, 2009
    • 08:31 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I just arrived home after 6 days of swimming in the ocean....the day before I left I developed a rash between my thighs and it was almost like hives and then today when I left my ring finger started to hurt and swelling up...its been about 12 hours and the pain is still there and the swelling is very noticable and it hurts to bend....any ideals people..besides hospitals? thanks
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • To much salt intake. I don't swallow it or drink it of course however,After I have an ocean swim or two, my ENTIRE body swells especially my feet and ankles. My rings will be completely stuck on my fingers from swelling. Harmless really It will clear up after a couple of days.The rash could be sand irritation and/or sea lice. I have not experience sea lice myself but I have had skin irritation from the sand.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Yesterday I went swimming in the ocean in Cape Verde. When I was walking out, I felt a hot flush all over my body, then my lips, and face began to swell, and my entire body was red and itchy. Doctor prescribed anti-histamine and Prednisone, and everything got better. But the doctor couldn't explain what has caused the reaction in the first place. Anyone know what it could have been??
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.

Signs of a Psoriasis Flare

Know the five types of psoriasis and how to spot flares.

How Diabetes Medications Affect Your Appetite

Newer diabetes treatments can suppress appetite and aid weight loss.

What to Do For Dry Mouth

Try these tips to get your salivary glands back into action.

The Painkiller – Constipation Connection

Constipation is a common side effect of opioid and narcotic pain medicines.

9 Signs of Sensitive Skin

Is it sensitive skin or something else?