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slknight
September 7th, 2010, 10:33 AM
Anyone ever suffered from swimmer's itch?

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/cercarialdermatitis/factsht_cercarialdermatitis.htm

I went for a nice two+ mile lake swim on Saturday and am now covered. :bitching: The other people I was with did not get it (although several of them were wearing wetsuits). I was really itchy on the drive home and then the red bumps appeared. I tend to have pretty sensitive skin and bad allergies to many things.

I'm especially concerned about this part: "Because swimmer's itch is caused by an allergic reaction to infection, the more often you swim or wade in contaminated water, the more likely you are to develop more serious symptoms. The greater the number of exposures to contaminated water, the more intense and immediate symptoms of swimmer's itch will be."

I wonder if this will be the end of my open-water lake swimming days. Anyone BTDT?

G_Swim
September 7th, 2010, 02:14 PM
We're definitely getting to the time of year when Swimmer's Itch appears again (at least here in CT) - in fact, I noticed a bite on my butt yesterday.

My experience is that if you can shower off immediately after swimming, your chances of developing the itchy pimples goes down. Just toweling off doesn't seem to have the same preventative effect. If showers don't exist where you swim, consider bringing jugs of water to pour on your face/head/torso when you come out.

I have not had any worsening of symptoms due to constant exposure. I would urge you to try swimming again, rinsing off thoroughly upon emergence and see if that makes a difference.

jackieg
September 8th, 2010, 11:26 AM
Whether it's a reaction to parasites (gross!) or the other possibly culprit, sea lice, I suggest antihistamines.

I've had several run ins with sea lice (tiny jelly fish larvae) and my sensitive skin always reacts. The good news is that I've never experienced an escalation in symptoms. Sometimes I feel the stings during the swim (as I did during this year's GCBS) and sometimes not till after. They can get trapped in your suit and then, as your suit dries, they get distressed and sting you. The result is little red spots that are insanely itchy. The solution is to rinse off with clean water right after your swim. If it's too late for that, don't waste time with vinegar or baking soda, go cortisone and antihistamines.

FindingMyInnerFish
September 13th, 2010, 10:23 PM
Whether it's a reaction to parasites (gross!) or the other possibly culprit, sea lice, I suggest antihistamines.

I've had several run ins with sea lice (tiny jelly fish larvae) and my sensitive skin always reacts. The good news is that I've never experienced an escalation in symptoms. Sometimes I feel the stings during the swim (as I did during this year's GCBS) and sometimes not till after. They can get trapped in your suit and then, as your suit dries, they get distressed and sting you. The result is little red spots that are insanely itchy. The solution is to rinse off with clean water right after your swim. If it's too late for that, don't waste time with vinegar or baking soda, go cortisone and antihistamines.

I had this problem after my bay swim this year--water was unusually warm, which I've heard is a factor. I developed not only a rash but a fever--both calmed down in a few days. Used anti-histamines which seemed to work well. Later in the summer, I developed poison ivy, which did not respond to otc remedies, and for that the dr. gave me a stronger dose of topical cortisone.

Any good suggestions for warding this stuff off even before starting a swim?