“Anyone can get swimmer’s itch,” Dr. Weirich said. “But we most often see it in children because they play in the shallow shoreline water for a long time, which means they’re more apt to be exposed.”
When is swimmer’s itch most common?
While the parasite’s preferred host is the specific bird or mammal, if the parasite comes into contact with a swimmer, it burrows into the skin causing an allergic reaction and rash. Swimmer’s itch is found throughout the world and is more frequent during summer months.
How long does it take for swimmer’s itch to go away?
How long do the symptoms last? A rash may appear within 12 hours after infection. The reaction may last from 2 to 5 days and symptoms can last as long as 2 weeks.
How do you know if you have swimmer’s itch?
Symptoms of swimmer’s itch include:
- A rash that usually goes away in about a week.
- An itching or burning feeling on your skin.
- Pimples that show up minutes or even days after you were in the water. The pimples may later turn into blisters.
Can swimmer’s itch get worse?
Swimmer’s itch usually affects only exposed skin — skin not covered by swimsuits, wet suits or waders. Signs and symptoms of swimmer’s itch typically worsen with each exposure to the parasites.
Does Benadryl help swimmers itch?
Generally you don’t need to see a doctor for swimmer’s itch. An antihistamine such as Benadryl will decrease the reaction. Rubbing on cortisone cream or calamine lotion will also make you more comfortable, Dr. Weirich said.
What does the swimmer’s itch parasite look like?
The parasites are released from infected snails who swim in fresh and salt water. Symptoms of cercarial dermatitis or swimmer’s itch include burning, tingling, and itching of the infected skin. Small reddish pimples appear within 12 hours of exposure. The pimples may develop into small blisters.
Is swimmer’s itch the same as chiggers?
Swimmer’s itch is actually a flatworm — a type of parasite that infests ducks, snails and, occasionally, humans. It bites us, and like chiggers, it may take a couple days for the marks to show up. And when they do, they often look a lot like chigger bites.
How do you get rid of swimmers itch?
After the swimmer’s itch organisms have penetrated the skin, there is little that can be done to treat it. You may get some relief by using soothing lotions such as calamine or lotions containing antihistamines and/or local anesthetics.
Can swimmer’s itch cause swelling?
Although it can be irrita ng, swimmer’s itch isn’t contagious. Not everyone is sensi ve to swimmer’s itch. Reac ons vary from hardly no ceable to considerable pain, severe itching, swelling, and possibly fever. Swelling usually subsides within a week, but redness can last longer.
Does chlorine kill swimmers itch?
People develop swimmer’s itch after swimming in water that has not been chlorinated, as chlorine would kill the parasites. Many symptoms are similar.
Does baby oil prevent swimmer’s itch?
Before swimming, create a water-proof barrier by applying baby oil, creams containing DEET, Swimmer’s Itch Guard, or similar products on exposed skin to prevent the larvae from burrowing. After swimming, vigorous towel off body parts that were directly exposed to the lake water.
What cream helps with swimmer’s itch?
Put calamine lotion on your skin. For a short time, use an anti-itch cream like hydrocortisone that you can buy without a prescription. Take an over-the-counter antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or loratadine (Claritin).
What is the parasite that causes swimmer’s itch?
Cercarial dermatitis (“swimmer’s itch”, “clam-digger’s itch”, “duck itch”) is caused by the cercariae of certain species of schistosomes whose normal hosts are birds and mammals other than humans.