This rash develops when tiny parasites that live in the water burrow under the skin and die.
Swimmer's itch (schistosome cercarial dermatitis) is caused by a parasite found in the waste and droppings of infected water animals, such as ducks and muskrats. Humans become infected when they swim in the contaminated water.
Swimmer's itch is an allergic rash that can develop if you swim in water that is contaminated with an organism that lives in or on another organism (parasite). The parasites that cause swimmer's itch are more prevalent in shallow water.
Swimmer's itch is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person.
The symptoms of swimmer's itch include small, reddish bumps that itch. Usually the itching stops and the affected areas begin to heal on their own within a week. To control the itching, your healthcare provider may suggest:
If your symptoms do not improve, you may need to see your healthcare provider for prescription medication or creams.
Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of swimmer's itch that are severe or not responding to home treatment. Be prepared to discuss your symptoms and how long you have had them.
Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider.
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