Swimmer's Itch

After a sunny summer day swimming in a lake, you discover red bumps on your skin that are starting to itch. You may be suffering from swimmer’s itch.

What is swimmer's Itch?

This is a skin infection that occurs after swimming in certain water, such as lakes or rivers. This rash and itching may last for about ten days.

What causes swimmer’s itch?

Swimmer's itch is caused by a parasite also called "cercaria." These are tiny larvae that stick to swimmers’ skin. Th larvae are unable to survive on a human host, so they die quickly after penetrating the skin.  This causes rashes and itching. There is no link between swimmer's itch and water pollution.  Swimmer's itch is not contagious; it cannot be transmitted from one person to another.

Treating swimmer's itch

Irritation will stop without any specific treatment. However, treating swimmer’s itch starts with the type of symptoms you have to relieve itching and mitigate the risk of infection. The application of itching lotion (e.g.: calamine), the use of cold compresses and oral antihistamines, if your medical history allows, are possible measures for relief. It is important to avoid scratching and to keep your nails short.

Methods to prevent swimmer’s itch

It is obviously essential to avoid bodies of water where swimmer's itch has been reported. Avoid letting yourself dry in the open air after swimming.  It is preferable to carefully and thoroughly dry yourself off with a towel. If possible, take a shower after a swim.

With these preventive methods, you will be able to fully enjoy summer!

Have a great swim!

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