Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor Home Care Prevention Outlook Underlying Cause

Swimmer's Itch Treatment

The majority of individuals with swimmer's itch don't require special treatment. An antihistamine or a nonprescription corticosteroid cream (1% hydrocortisone) will usually suffice to control itching.

Treatment options 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.

Severe itching and scratching the skin can lead to a bacterial skin infection called impetigo. This infection requires treatment with an antibiotic.

Specific treatment for swimmer's itch may include:

Swimmer's Itch Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of swimmer's itch.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for swimmer's itch?
  • Will I need to see my doctor for a checkup?

Continue to Swimmer's Itch Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 13, 2011 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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