Aquatic dermatology: encounters with the denizens of the deep (and not so deep) – a review. Part II: the vertebrates, single-celled organisms, and aquatic biotoxins


  • Conflicts of interest: None.

Patrick Ottuso, MD
Vero Beach Dermatology
1955 22ND AVENUE
Vero Beach, FL 32960


Numerous aquatic vertebrate species are known to cause cutaneous injury. While many of the injuries occur in regions that harbor such organisms, with the ability of people to travel long distances in short periods of time, these injuries may be seen worldwide. Also, with the increasing tendency of people to keep home aquariums, these injuries may occur anywhere. The majority of such injuries are minor and most go unreported. Some, however may be associated with morbidity and loss of life. Along with such injuries comes the potential for infection by bacteria, algae, or fungi. Some of these organisms are ubiquitous, others are specific to the aquatic environment. Toxins may be transferred from the offending organisms into the wound. Interestingly, some of these same toxins may be beneficial to treating some disease states in man.