View Full Version : Swimmer's itch and Seabather's Eruption

August 7th, 2012, 01:47 PM
Hey guys,

Anyone have any experience with either of these?? Last Sat (July 28th) I did a swim in the Hudson. A couple of days later, I got a bumpy rash around my left knee. Kind of look like mosquito bites, but they haven't gone away yet and are still itchy. I went to the dr. and he gave me a cream and suggested they might be bed bug bites, but I don't think they are. They're only in one isolated spot on and around my left knee.

Well, this past Sunday I did a swim in the Atlantic Ocean. Last night I noticed this disgusting rash on my stomach and part of my back. It's starting to itch more and more.

I've been doing some research online, which has been helpful. I'm pretty sure I got swimmer's itch from the Hudson and Seabather's Eruption from the ocean. Has anyone dealt with either of these? Did they just fade away? If someone could share their experience with either, that would be great! I feel like my whole body is covered in a rash :(


August 7th, 2012, 04:38 PM
What you call "Seabather's Eruption" we call sea lice. They are bad here in Florida right now. From Wikipedia (under "Seabather's Eruption"):

The reaction is identified by severe itching around small red papules 1mm to 1.5cm in size located on areas of skin that were covered by water-permeable clothing or hair during ocean swimming. Initial swimmer exposure to the free-floating larvae produces no effects, as each organism possesses only a single undeveloped nematocyst which is inactive while suspended in sea water. However, due to their microscopic size and sticky bodies, large concentrations of larvae can become trapped in minute gaps between skin and clothing or hair. Once the swimmer leaves the ocean, the organisms stuck against the skin die and automatically discharge their nematocysts when crushed, dried out, or exposed to fresh water. This is why symptoms usually do not appear until the swimmer dries themselves in the sun or takes a freshwater shower without first removing the affected clothing.

The key is to not let them get trapped between your swimsuit and your skin. We wear two-piece suits for that reason. A couple of the women I swim with just take their suits off. We usually have a paddleboard escort, so they just take their suits off after we're in the water and tie them to the paddleboard, then put them back on before we get out of the water.

August 8th, 2012, 09:11 PM
I am highly allergic to "sea lice" and get them like crazy. I have been SAVED by Safe Sea. Sounds crazy and I don't know how it works, but seriously, it does. You can order it on their website and while it's not cheap, it's so much better than the suffering!

I do a lot of ocean swims and use this for every one. Just spent a week in Mexico this past April and was doing swims as long as 2 hours with no problems. Typically, it's supposed to wear off before then, but I've had luck with it lasting for longer.

I'll be swimming in St. Croix again in October and will DEFINITELY be using it.

Good luck!