What are the Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Cercarial Dermatitis?

Cercarial Dermatitis is also called

Swimmer’s itch or Duck itch and Schistosome cercarial dermatitis

. The disease is a short term allergy in the skin of humans which has been infected by a trematode, a water borne parasites.

The infection mainly causes skin rashes from swimming. This is an allergic reaction to infection with Schistosome, parasites of birds and mammals. These parasites are released from infected snails and swim in salted and fresh water, such as ponds, lakes and oceans which are used for wading and swimming and cause infection to humans. Children may become infected more frequently than adults.

Causes of Cercarial Dermatitis:

Following are some of the causes for cercarial dermatitis –

  • Contaminated water
  • Swimming
  • Wading
  • Shallow water
  • Snails
  • Birds
  • Snails, birds are the risk factors which do not directly cause the disease, but seem to be associated in some way.

Signs and Symptoms of Cercarial Dermatitis:

Following are some of the symptoms of Cercarial dermatitis –

  • Skin burning
  • Skin itching
  • Skin tingling
  • Tiny reddish pimples
  • Tiny blisters
  • Itchy rash
  • Within minutes of swimming in contaminated water, you will experience burning, rashes and tingling of the skin.
  • Reddish pimples appear within 12 hours of infection and it develop into blisters.
  • Itching can last up to a week.
  • The more often you swim in contaminated water, the more likely you are to develop serious symptoms.

Treatment of Cercarial Dermatitis:

Treatment for Cercarial dermatitis includes the following –

  • Corticosteroid cream
  • Baking soda paste to the rash
  • Taking bath with baking soda
  • Anti-itch lotion
  • Calamine lotion
  • Aveeno
  • Colloidal oatmeal baths
  • Avoid scratching the rashes as scratching it may cause infection to spread.

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