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Maryjl

Swimmers Itch

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I took my 10 year old grandaughter up to our camper for a few days. The first day was really hot so she went swimming. As soon as she got out of the water she started itching like crazy. We went to town to a drug store and they said she had swimmers itch and we got itch creams and benadryl which helped for a little while then she broke out in hives. They say this is caused from some bug that comes from ducks that hatches in the water. I never heard of it before. Does any one know about this and have any good cures or ways to prevent it from happening.

One good thing came from it she wanted to go out fishing the next day because she couldn't go swimming and she caught a sheephead a big perch and a bluegill.

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I have been told that swimmers itch can be avoided by rinsing the skin after swimming. So the bacteria does not have time to infect the skin.

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To help reduce the amount of "swimmers itch" I have heard to rinse with clean water immediately after getting out of the water. If that is not an option, drying off as quickly as you can with a towel also stops them from penetrating the skin!

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Checked the net and found that applying sunscreen/lotion before entering the water may help reduce the chance for getting swimmers itch. Also the rinsing, drying off were correct along with applying lotion or cream after drying off. The parasite is usually transmitted by birds so they recommend not feeding birds near where you swim and avoid wading in the water. Apparently the wading part has to do with as your skin surface starts to dry the parasite is trying to protect itself by burrowing into the skin to survive which in turn can lead to irritation.

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When I was groing up we always used baby oil before we went swimming and dried off with a towel immediately after -seemed to wok.

MN

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Thanks for all the replies. She really got it bad but I think she had more of an alergic reaction to it she didn't clear up from the hives she got for a week after. She did rinse off right away but she had been in the water along time. Next time I'll make sure they are covered with lotion first and run to the showers right away.

<><Mary><>

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Sounds like chigger bites. Ducks eat small snails and chiggers incubate in their [PoorWordUsage] and hang out in the sand where you swim. Next time try waterless hand santizer available for under a dollar at Walgreen's. I keep a bottle handy all the time and discovered on a recent vacation that it works great for clearing up chigger bites. Probably the alcohol. The neighbors at the lake always fed the ducks so we had duck [PoorWordUsage] and chiggers up the you know where.

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If I'm not mistaken, chiggers are not the same culprits as the parasites that cause swimmers itch. Both are parasites, but one lives in water, the other on land. Both spend part of their life cycle in birds.

The swimmer's itch parasite does spend it's life cycle in snails and ducks. Chiggers live in grass and vegetation, often near water, but not always. Both parasites burrow their way into your skin because they believe that you are their normal host, be it duck or other bird. Once inside, the conditions are not what they are accustomed to and they die. It is their death and the toxins associated with their decay that cause the itching of your skin. Lovely, isn't it?

The best cure for chigger bites is the application of ammonia directly onto the bite as soon as possible after "infection". I discovered this one summer when I had over 250 chigger bites and was ready to check into a mental institution. I had purchased all the over the counter bite applications and the common ingredient in them was ammonia. Since I was constantly applying the stuff, I just bought a bottle of ammonia, got a Q-tip and....well, let's just say I could finally sleep for more than an hour.

I would try ammonia on swimmer's itch as well. Because they are similar to chiggers, it may just work.

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