Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Your risk of swimmer's itch depends on a number of environmental factors:
- Air and water temperatures that are warm enough for snails to reproduce and grow, such as in the late summer months in many parts of the world
- The return of migrating birds infected with parasites
- Bodies of water that contain parasites, especially along shorelines and in shallow areas
The more time you spend in infested water, the higher your risk of swimmer's itch. Children may have the highest risk, since they tend to play in shallow water and are less likely to dry off with a towel.
Some people are more sensitive to swimmer's itch than others are. And, your sensitivity can increase each time you're exposed to the parasites that cause swimmer's itch.
- Wilson ME, et al. Helminthic infections. In: Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=3000222&searchStr=schistosomiasis%2c+cutaneous#3000222. Accessed Nov. 10, 2010.
- Wolff K, et al. Arthropod bites, stings and cutaneous infections. In: Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology. 6th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=5197009&searchStr=schistosomiasis%2c+cutaneous#5197009. Accessed Nov. 10, 2010.
- Swimmer's itch (cercarial dermatitis). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/cercarialdermatitis/factsht_cercarialdermatitis.htm. Accessed Nov. 10, 2010.
- Swimmer's itch. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/swimmers_itch.html. Accessed Nov. 10, 2010.