Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Swimmer's Itch Overview

What is swimmer's itch?
A person with swimmer's itch has an infection of the skin, caused by a parasite. The infection causes a rash on areas of the skin that are covered by a swimsuit. Swimmer's itch occurs mainly in fresh water, but may occur in salt water. It is similar to seabather's eruption, which is caused by a different parasite that is found only in salt water.

What are the symptoms of swimmer's itch?
Symptoms of swimmer's itch include a very itchy rash on the skin that is covered by a swimsuit.

How does the doctor treat swimmer's itch?
Treatment for swimmer's itch may include gentle skin cleansing, oatmeal baths, oral antihistamine medications for itching, and topical corticosteroid cream or lotion. Swimmer's itch resolves without additional treatment within a few days.

Continue to Swimmer's Itch Symptoms

Last Updated: Sep 2, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Swimmer's Itch References
  1. Verbrugge LM, Rainey JJ, Reimink RL, Blankespoor HD. Prospective study of swimmer's itch incidence and severity. J Parasitol. 2004 Aug;90(4):697-704. [15357056]
  2. Verbrugge LM, Rainey JJ, Reimink RL, Blankespoor HD. Swimmer's itch: incidence and risk factors. Am J Public Health. 2004 May;94(5):738-41. [15117691]
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