The itchy rash associated with swimmer's itch looks like reddish pimples or blisters. It may appear within minutes or days after swimming or wading in infested water.
Swimmer's itch usually affects only exposed skin — skin not covered by swimsuits, wet suits or waders. Signs and symptoms of swimmer's itch typically worsen with each exposure to the parasites.
When to see a doctor
Talk to your doctor if you have a rash after swimming that lasts more than one week. If you notice pus at the rash site, consult your doctor. You might be referred to a doctor who specializes in skin conditions (dermatologist).
Feb. 18, 2014
- Parasites: Cercarial dermatitis (also known as swimmer's itch). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/swimmersitch/faqs.html. Accessed Sept. 20, 2013.
- Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology. 6th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=45. Accessed Sept. 20, 2013.
- Auerbach PS, et al. Wilderness Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clincalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 20, 2013.