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Ask Udder: Itchy Seacow!

July 6, 2010

Dear Udder:

With this heat, I naturally moooove towards the sea, but I seem to have developed a nasty rash that my Japanese friend blames on shrimps’ eggs. Can you give me more information?

Scratching in Shonan

Dear Shonan:

You are a victim of chinkuimushi in Japanese, a rather risque casual name for these little creatures. (Private-parts eating bug is a rough translation!) Shrimp or crab eggs can cause a red, itchy rash, but there is a product that can help, widely available in Japan. “Sea Safe,” sold in HAC drug or in many smaller places near the sea, can really help prevent a sting, in addition to some protection against jellyfish.  This link is in Japanese, but provides a nice picture of the tube, although Sea Safe is written in English.

By the way, please take advantage of the many great skin/ dermatology clinics in Japan, and visit one for proper medicine and lotion – 皮膚 (hifu) — with any summer sting or sea rash — some of the jellyfish stings can be quite painful.

Moooos for your happy beach life!


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