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The Weeders Digest - Articles > Swimmers Itch Guartd - Only product Guaranteed to REPEL swimmers itch 100%

What is swimmers itch and how to avoid it

What is Swimmer’s Itch?

Do you enjoy summer water activities in the lake but end up with an itchy red rash?  That rash is most commonly referred to as “Swimmer’s Itch”.  The Swimmer’s Itch rash is typically an allergic reaction to tiny parasites that are carried by waterfowl and snails that live in fresh water.  As part of the parasite’s life cycle, they are released into the water by the infected snails and birds.  People in the water are then exposed to the parasite that can burrow into the skin causing the rash to appear.  This rash is medically referred to as “cercarial dermatitis”, can sometimes be mistaken for “chiggers”.

In reality, chiggers are the larvae (juvenile form) of a certain type of mite.  Mites are arachnids (like spiders and ticks).   Unlike the parasites in Swimmers Itch, chiggers are more common in areas such as forests, grassy fields, gardens, and parks. However, they can be found in soggy areas around lakes or rivers. Most of the larvae that cause chigger bites are found on plants that are relatively close to the ground surface, because they require a high level of humidity for survival.  Chiggers can also cause itchy red bumps which can be confused with Swimmers itch. 

Some frequently asked questions about Swimmer’s Itch:

What are the common symptoms of Swimmer’s Itch?                

·         Tingling, burning, or itching of the skin

·         Small red pimples

·         Small blisters

Can Swimmer’s Itch spread from one person to another?

No.  It is not contagious.  It is contracted from the parasites in the water.

Who can contract Swimmer’s Itch?

Anyone who swims or enters into infested water is at risk of contracting Swimmer’s Itch.  The parasites are mostly found in shallow waters near the shoreline.  Children are likely to contract Swimmer’s Itch because they play more in the shallower water and don’t towel dry off as well as adults.

When does the first outbreak of Swimmer’s Itch Usually Occur?

Generally during the first warm period in the spring, typically late May or early June.  Outbreaks can be delayed due to weather conditions such as late or cooler spring in some northern areas.



Once an outbreak starts in the water, will the water always be infected?

No. The factors that contribute to Swimmers Itch can change and thus not always create an infestation.  However, there is no absolute certain way to know how long the water may be unsafe.  Generally these parasites only live 24 hours once released from the snails but an infected snail could continue to produce the parasite for the rest of its life.  For future snails to become infected, the re-introduction of waterfowl in the area must occur to carry on the lifecycle. 



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