Is swimmer's itch a type of parasitic skin infection?

Swimmer's itch is one type of parasitic skin infection caused by swimming in lakes, ponds and oceans that have been infected by parasites that live in and are released into the water by snails. If you swim in infected water, the parasite digs into your skin and causes an allergic reaction that includes symptoms such as burning and itching, small red pimples and blisters on the skin. Because this is allergy-related, the more you swim in infected waters, the more prone you become to a more serious skin infection.

Swimmer's itch is treatable by over-the-counter anti-itch creams and lotions, cool compresses, and bathing in colloidal oatmeal and Epson salts. This condition is not contagious and affects more children than adults.

Continue Learning about Parasitic Infections

What You Need to Know About Ticks
What You Need to Know About Ticks
The thought of a tick on your body or in your home probably makes you shudder, but if you spend time outdoors, you need to know what to do should you ...
Read More
What is a tapeworm?
Tapeworms are parasites, usually found in under-cooked beef or pork, sometimes in freshwater fish. I...
More Answers
What are the henipaviruses?
NewYork-Presbyterian HospitalNewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
The henipaviruses – Hendra Virus (HeV) and Nipah Virus (NiV) – emerged during the 1990s in Australia...
More Answers
What Are the Symptoms of Parasitic Infections?
What Are the Symptoms of Parasitic Infections?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.