What Exactly Is Swimmers Itch?
Even though you can’t see them in the water, swimmer’s itch is microscopic parasites lurking in lake water that are can cause a skin rash that’s itchy, scratchy and uncomfortable.
According to the Minnesota DNR, the flatworm begins by getting inside of ducks, geese, beaver and muskrat then they lays eggs and that animal passes them into the lake water.
Once the eggs hatch in the water they search for another host such as a snail. Once the cycle happens again they search for yet another host, which often are humans by this point.
People are not sustainable hosts and the parasite dies, but not before the itching has begun.
According to Melisa Palmer a Physician assistant at Essentia Health Urgent Care and Convenient Care Clinics in Baxter and Brainerd, the swimmers itch will normally clear up on it’s own but using anti-itch cream or taking an Epsom salt/baking soda bath should help with the discomfort.
Not everyone that comes into contact with the parasite will react but for those who do; they will notice red welts and itching for 2-7 days.
Melisa Pamer recommends that if over the counter remedies do not alleviate the symptoms after this time you should seek medical attention.