Swimmer's Itch Prevention and Cure

What are the symptoms of swimmer's itch?
The U.S. Center for Disease Contror (CDC) says that the symptoms of swimmer's itch may include:
 tingling, burning or itching of the skin, small reddish pimples or small blisters

Within minutes to days after swimming, you may experience tingling, burning, or itching of the skin. Small reddish pimples appear within twelve hours. Pimples may develop into small blisters. Scratching the areas may result in secondary bacterial infections. Itching may last up to a week or more, but will gradually go away.

Because swimmer's itch is caused by an allergic reaction to infection, the more often you swim or wade in water containing the parasitic fluke, the more likely you are to develop more serious symptoms. The greater the number of exposures, the more intense and immediate symptoms of swimmer's itch will be.
Be aware that swimmer's itch is not the only rash that may occur after swimming in fresh and salt water.

Swimmer's itch is caused by a microscopic parasite that burrows into the skin. The parasite passes from bird droppings (mainly ducks) into snails and into human skin when the water is very warm.

To prevent it,
don't stand around in the very shallow, very warm lake water. Staying out in somewhat deeper water and/or keeping moving such as when swimming, will usually prevent the parasites from getting you. When you or the kids get out of the water, towel off immediately with a strong rubbing motion and then shower with soap and hot water.

To treat it,
the best "cure" we've ever used is Old Fashioned Noxzema skin cream - the smelly kind that comes in the round jar. We hear that the newer fragrances of Noxzema don't work. Just spread the Noxzema on the itchy areas of the body. The itching should be gone within minutes. We've also heard that Witchhazel works but we haven't tried it.

CLICK HERE to go to the CDC web page about swimmer's itch

Back to the What's Happening page