What is swimmer’s itch?
Swimmer's itch, also called cercarial dermatitis, is an itchy skin rash caused by certain parasites that normally live on waterfowl and freshwater snails. On warm, sunny days, especially in calm freshwater lakes or ponds, these parasites can be released into the water. During swimming, these parasites may burrow into the skin, causing the itchy skin rash. Since humans are not suitable hosts for these parasites, most cases do not require medical attention and will resolve soon on their own.
What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms of swimmer’s itch include itching that may begin within minutes to days after swimming in contaminated water. A red, raised rash is often present, and skin may be tingling, burning, and itching. Swimmers’ itch usually affects only exposed skin, not skin covered by swimsuits or other garments.
What is the treatment?
Although uncomfortable, swimmer’s itch is usually short-lived. If you have a rash the persists for more than a few days, visit a Take Care Health Provider for evaluation and a personalized treatment plan to help treat the symptoms.
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please call 911.