Swimmer’s Itch / Cercarial Dermatitis


Swimmer’s itch is a skin rash due to an allergic reaction with certain mammals. It occurs due to release of immature larval forms (called as cercariae ) from infected snails into fresh or salt water in lakes and ponds .It mainly develops on exposed areas of skin .
Swimmer’s itch first exposure does not result in any reaction. Swimmers itch organisms are mostly noticed in early summer, when water is warm. The duration of swimmer’s itch is short.

Swimmer’s itch is not contagious.
Water becomes infested with parasite when a adult parasite lives in the blood of infected animal as ducks, geese, these parasites produce eggs which are passed in feces of infected birds / mammals.

Eggs contaminate the water; eggs release free swimming larvae into the water which swim for species of aquatic snail .Once these snails get infected them undergo further development.

Causes of Swimmer's Itch / Cercarial Dermatitis 

Swimmer’s itch is mainly an allergic reaction to parasites migrating from snails to ducks, swans and beavers .These parasites return to water through infected feces.

Risk factors
• Children are at a greater risk of swimmer’s itch.
• Shorelines and shallow areas containing parasites.
• Return of migratory birds infected with parasites.

Swimmer's Itch / Cercarial Dermatitis Signs and Symptoms

• Swimmer’s itch affects the exposed skin surface.
• Red rashes, itching lasting for a week or more
• Tingling and burning on skin
• Small blisters on skin

Investigations of Swimmer's Itch / Cercarial Dermatitis 

No specific test only physician examination

Treatment for Swimmer's Itch / Cercarial Dermatitis 

• Anti –histamines creams
• Corticosteroid cream, anti-itch cream
• Calamine lotion
• Oatmeal bath
• Cool compress

Homeopathic treatment for Swimmer's Itch / Cercarial Dermatitis 

Apis Mellifica –
• Swelling on skin after bite with stinging
• Carbuncles with burning
• Puffing up of whole body
• It acts on outer surface of skin
• Extreme sensitivity to touch
• Soreness is marked

Caladium Seguinum –
• Coldness of parts, sweat
• Itching with rashes alternate with asthma
• Burning on skin

Graphites –
• Dry, hard rough skin with eruptions
• Swelling with ulceration
• Burning and stinging pain
• Rawness on bends upon skin

Sulphur –
• Unhealthy skin, dry scaly eruptions
• Burning and itching on skin
• Symptoms worse in warmth
• Offensive discharges
• Redness of lips and face

Urtica urens –
• Itching on skin with burning heat
• Heat of body with soreness
• Symptoms return every year
• Profuse discharges from mucous membrane

Diet / management of Swimmer's Itch / Cercarial Dermatitis  

• Avoid swimming in marshy areas
• Taking a bath immediately after leaving water
• Applying baking soda on affected areas

Apart from this other home remedies are –
Tea tree oil , Castor oil
Eucalyptus oil
Paste of baking soda with water
Cold tea bags
Snadalwood powder
Rose water
Washing area with mild soap

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