Allergic Skin Disorders

Picture of Cercarial Dermatitis (Swimmer's Itch)

Picture of Cercarial Dermatitis: Swimmer's Itch

Cercarial dermatitis: swimmer's itch. Erythematous papules on the exposed areas of a swimmer. Cercarial dermatitis (swimmer's itch) is a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to an infection with certain microscopic parasites of birds and animals. The parasites are released from infected snails who swim in fresh and salt water. Symptoms of cercarial dermatitis or swimmer's itch include burning, tingling, and itching of the infected skin. Small reddish pimples appear within 12 hours of exposure. The pimples may develop into small blisters. Itching may last up to a week or more but will gradually go away. Cercarial dermatitis (swimmer's itch) is not contagious. Treatment includes corticosteroid creams, anti-itch or Calamine lotions, or other creams.

Image Source: Color Atlas & Synopsis of Pediatric Dermatology Kay Shou-Mei Kane, Jen Bissonette Ryder, Richard Allen Johnson, Howard P. Baden, Alexander Stratigos Copyright 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved.

Text: WebMD Medical Reference. Centers for Disease Control. "Swimmer's Itch."