BlogSwimmer's Itch Cycle - Savin Lake Services
Swimmer's Itch Cycle - Savin Lake Services

What is Swimmer's Itch?

It is a parasite that causes us to itch. Before you panic, it’s not anything to worry about. It’s more of an annoyance. We all have different skin types so the severity is different from person to person. At Savin Lake Services we understand that work yields reward and in this blog we will give you some things you can do to treat and work to prevent Swimmer’s Itch.

Essentially, there are two things that are required for Swimmer’s Itch: ducks and snails. Ducks carry the parasite (a flatworm called Schistosome) to lakes and ponds. Through their feces, the ducks spread the parasite to a certain type of snail. The parasite then leaves the snail through its feces and searches for a new host. The itch occurs when the larvae of the flatworm attempts to burrow into our skin. Our amazing human immune system kills the larvae and the dead remains of the larvae show up as a rash on our skin.

Swimmer's Itch - Savin Lake Services

How can I treat it?

We’re not doctors and you know your body better than anyone. If you feel it’s very serve then, by all means, call a doctor. But, for the vast majority of us who contract Swimmer’s Itch it’s just a rash that will clear up in a few days. There are a few home remedy type things that you can try to speed up the healing process.

Applying a cool compress to the affected area has been said to give relief and accelerate healing. Some have said that oatmeal or Epsom salt baths have worked to bring relief as well. Still others have reported that stirring baking soda and water into a paste and applying it to the skin has worked. These are all safe methods to try. For a more “medical” approach, some people have seen results from corticosteroid cream and anti-itch lotions.

Do not feed the ducks - Savin Lake Services

What can I do to prevent it?

There are some good habits you can teach your family and friends to help prevent Swimmer’s Itch. Since feces plays a big part in this inconvenience, you can start by not feeding the ducks. It’s better for the ducks to not eat human food anyway. The snails tend to live in very swallow waters so swimming in deeper waters can help. Finally, you can dry off immediately after getting out of the water. If you have an outdoor shower you could make use of that to rinse off.

Savin Lake Services can also provide Consulting Services to give you an understanding on what you can do to not only help prevent Swimmer’s Itch, but also other things to keep your lake or pond looking beautiful. We could remove certain aquatic plants that the snails feed on or even provide dredging services. Maintaining a healthier shoreline is one of the many services we offer and can help make it less attractive for ducks to congregate.

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