SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
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Swimmer's itch is characterized by:
- Itching that may begin in just an hour or two, or as long as two days after swimming
- A red, raised rash
Swimmer's itch usually affects only exposed skin — skin not covered by swimsuits, wet suits or waders. The rash may appear up to 48 hours after swimming in infested water, but you may also experience itching without ever developing a rash. If you're exposed to the same parasites again, the rash might become more severe.
When to see a doctor
Talk to your doctor if you have a rash after swimming that lasts more than one week. If you notice pus at the rash site, consult your doctor. You might be referred to a doctor who specializes in skin conditions (dermatologist).
- 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.