Sea Urchins (αχινούς)

Sea Urchin Crete
Sea Urchin Crete

This curious little creature has probably more often than not, plagued you at the beach, catching you unexpectedly, leaving annoyingly painful spines embedded in your flesh, swollen, red and inflamed, with little or no knowledge of how to relieve the discomfort.

Here are a couple of ideas on how to deal with them.

Try to remove the spines as soon as possible with tweezers, carefully, as they break easily, (you may need assistance with this).

Any spines which are broken and don`t offer any surface to grab with the tweezers need a different approach.  With a sterilized needle, try to lever out the spine, pricking it with the needle and working it to the surface, just as you would a wood splinter, but again the spines break easily, so slowly and carefully.  There will nearly always remain a residue of the spine after you remove it, (usually a black spot), this will be absorbed by the body. Wash with antibacterial soap.  Daub the affected area with vaseline, wrap loosely with a bandage and leave overnight. If the spines are in your foot, don`t walk on them.


Remove any spines you are able with tweezers, then wrap a cloth soaked in vinegar around the affected area for as long as you can.  Soaking the affected area in hot water will help relieve the pain.


Remove any spines you are able. Soak the affected area completely (ie. in a bowl) with vinegar for as long as you can.

Use an antibacterial soap after all of the above procedures.

If the area becomes infected, or if you have any type of adverse reaction, seek medical attention.

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