CAUTION: Parasites in lakes and ponds can create an allergic reaction

With children out of school, it's only natural that they have some fun outside. But health officials are warning parents to make sure their kids are cautious while they are near lakes and ponds due to an influx of swimmer's itch, a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to parasites. 

The parasites can be released by snails into fresh or salt water and onto swimmers' skin. Swimmer's itch is more frequent during summer months and you should avoid marshy areas where snails are commonly found. 

It can cause burning, tingling, or itching. Small reddish pimples may appear in twelve hours. It's not anything life-threatening, but it can be uncomfortable. 

Dr. Kurt Watkins from Peninsula Allergy & Asthma Associates says, "Well if you are aware that a particular body of water's has problems, then you want to stay away from that. But I wouldn't consider this as a serious problem, so enjoy yourself. But when you get out of the water you want to rinse off and dry off, so if there's any on the skin it will get washed of."

If you're dealing with intense itching, a steroid cream or Benadryl should help out. The parasite tends to die off and the infection should clear up in a week. 

Categories: Delaware, Local News

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