Swimmer's Itch (also known as 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 into fresh and salt water (such as lakes, ponds, and oceans). While the parasite's preferred host is the specific bird or mammal, if the parasite comes into contact with a swimmer, it burrows into the skin causing an allergic reaction and rash. Swimmer's itch is found throughout the world and is more frequent during summer months.
Most cases of swimmer's itch do not require medical attention. Swimmer’s itch is most commonly treated with topical creams or lotions to relieve itching. Scratching the lesions can result in secondary infection. Swimmer’s itch lesions can be confused with other causes of dermatitis such as poison ivy, chickenpox, and impetigo.