What causes cercarial dermatitis?

Swimmer’s itch, also called cercarial dermatitis, appears as a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to certain microscopic parasites that infect some birds and mammals. These parasites are released from infected snails into fresh and salt water (such as lakes, ponds, and oceans).

How does cercarial dermatitis happen?

Cercarial dermatitis, also known as swimmer’s itch, is an itchy rash caused by a tiny parasitic worm. It’s contracted by swimming or wading in infested fresh water lakes or ponds. The parasite’s usual hosts are waterfowl and rodents. After the parasite is excreted from the waterfowl or rodent, it then enters a snail.

How do you get rid of cercarial dermatitis?

Treatment for cercarial dermatitis

  1. Cool, moist compress. This is a clean damp cloth. …
  2. Corticosteroid cream or ointment. You can apply this medicine several times a day on clean skin.
  3. Antihistamine. This medicine can help reduce itching. …
  4. Colloidal oatmeal bath. …
  5. Baking soda paste. …
  6. Other anti-itch lotion or cream.

How does Schistosoma cercarial dermatitis develop?

Cercarial dermatitis is caused by penetration of the skin by avian or rodent schistosomal larval forms called cercariae. Snails infected with schistosome (blood fluke) species shed the infective cercariae into the water. The cercariae penetrate the wet skin of warm-blooded animals.

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How do you prevent cercarial dermatitis?


  1. Choose swimming spots carefully. Avoid swimming in areas where swimmer’s itch is a known problem or signs warn of possible contamination. …
  2. Avoid the shoreline, if possible. If you’re a strong swimmer, head to deeper water for your swim. …
  3. Rinse after swimming. …
  4. Skip the bread crumbs. …
  5. Apply waterproof sunscreen.

What parasite causes swimmer’s itch?

What is swimmer’s itch? Swimmer’s itch is a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to small worm-like parasites called schistosomes (shiss-toe-soams). Schistosomes spend their life cycle as parasites in the bodies of water snails and in the blood stream of aquatic mammals, ducks or other waterfowl.

Can swimmer’s itch spread?

Swimmer’s itch is not contagious and cannot be spread from one person to another.

What does cercarial dermatitis look like?

What does swimmer’s itch (cercarial dermatitis) look like? Swimmer’s itch (cercarial dermatitis) looks like a rash with reddish bumps or pimples. It may also cause small blisters on the skin and itch or burn. Swimmer’s itch can only appear on skin that has had contact with infested water.

What kills swimmer’s itch?

After the swimmer’s itch organisms have penetrated the skin, there is little that can be done to treat it. You may get some relief by using soothing lotions such as calamine or lotions containing antihistamines and/or local anesthetics. In severe cases, see a physician.

Can swimmer’s itch get worse?

The itching is worse in the first few days after it starts. Then it gets better after about a week. Because the parasite can’t live in the human body, swimmer’s itch goes away on its own.

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What type of pathogen is Cercarial dermatitis?

Cercarial dermatitis (swimmer’s itch) is a common non-communicable water-borne disease. It is caused by penetration of the skin by larvae (cercariae) of schistosomatid flukes and develops as a maculopapular skin eruption after repeated contacts with the parasites.

Can dogs get swimmer’s itch?

YES! Dogs can get summer’s itch and it is a more serious condition in dogs than in people (more on this later) because the parasites cannot only live within the dog’s body, but can reproduce and make their own little colony in a canine’s system.

Why do ducks itch?

Not to get all boring and scientific on you, Duck Itch is a short-term immune system reaction caused by flatworms that causes skin irritation. It is most often contracted in small ponds, streams and lakes where wild waterfowl live.

Does Seabather’s eruption spread?

Individuals affected by seabather’s eruption might feel a burning sensation and the rash may continue to spread over the next few days. The rash of seabather’s eruption is different than the rash associated with swimmer’s itch, as swimmer’s itch affects uncovered areas of the body.