Duck itch, swimmer’s itch or cercarial dermatitis are all the same thing, an allergic reaction to parasites and bacteria found in water where ducks, birds and small small animals have been. It is a reaction to the parasite in their poop. Yeah, I know it sounds gross, but remember when you’re enjoying the cool water in a lake or pond you’re also swimming where the birds, fish & other animals, well… poop. Out of all the names for it, I kind of like the name duck itch.
We’ve never had duck itch in our house. While the research I did said you can get it in salt water, I don’t think it is as common in the ocean. Since we live near the coast we’ve never had it. But I took that interesting picture of my niece’s knee since I ended up being the one to take her to the doctor’s office to have them look it. You can read all about our interesting visit to the doctors office on my CPRMom Blog.
What does duck itch look like?
The start as small bumps that look like mosquito bites. As they heal the bumps actually get bigger, to about the size of a dime or so. They will itch for about a week and then will fade away.
How do you prevent duck itch?
Move around in the water or go where it is a bit deeper where the water circulates a bit more. Take a nice shower or at least rinse off after swimming.
How do you treat duck itch?
Pretty much it needs to run its course. The research I did (see links at the bottom of the post) did have more definitive treatment plans. But I’m using the advice given by a good friend who lives near a large lake, and her kids have had this. Just let it run it’s course. That can take up to 3 weeks.
Good links of info: