Q. A person is allergic. Can he swim in the ocean?

Answered by
Dr. Sandeep V Nair
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 27, 2019

Hello doctor,

If a person is allergic to seafood, can they swim in the ocean? This person cannot touch seafood or have sea-salt either.

Dr. Sandeep V Nair

Diabetology General Medicine Internal Medicine


Welcome to icliniq.com.

If a person is allergic to sea food and sea salt both, he should ideally avoid swimming in the ocean so as to avoid getting an attack of anaphylaxis (lethal allergic reaction) while under water. In my years of practice I have never come across any person with allergy to sea salt. It is usually the sea food which contains proteins, to which allergy occurs. Sea salt contains NaCl and KCl and other minerals which are usually inert and do not cause any reaction. However, to be on the safer side, avoid swimming if you are truly allergic to sea food and sea water.

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