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Swimmer's itch (cercarial dermatitis) is a burning or itchy rash caused by an allergic reaction to a waterborne parasite that burrows into the top layer of skin. The parasites soon die, but you're left with a rash that produces tiny bumps or blisters.

Because swimmer's itch is an allergic reaction, repeated exposure to infected water can increase a person's sensitivity and result in worse symptoms with each subsequent exposure.

Swimmer's itch isn't serious and usually clears up on its own within a week. At-home remedies — soothing lotions, lukewarm baths with colloidal oatmeal or baking soda — may ease the itchiness.

Oct. 21, 2016