Cercarial Dermatitis

Below you will find more information about Cercarial Dermatitis from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Cercarial Dermatitis it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Cercarial Dermatitis and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Cercarial Dermatitis comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Cercarial dermatitis is a skin condition characterized by an itchy rash caused by certain parasites. It is also commonly referred to as "swimmer' itch".

Diagnosis

Cercarial dermatitis rashes may resemble those of chickenpox, poison ivy, impetigo, dermatitis, or even herpes. Diagnosis must first eliminate these other possible causes of the itch. Blood and skin tests are usually unable to detect the parasites that cause cercarial dermatitis.

Treatment

Cercarial dermatitis often resolves on its own after a few days, although some rashes may persist for at least a week. In the meantime, the characteristic itching can be managed with over-the-counter anti-itch creams or antihistamines. If itching is too severe, physicians may recommend prescription medication.

Symptoms and Signs

Cercarial dermatitis manifests with the appearance of itchy, reddish, and raised areas on the skin. It typically occurs only on exposed skin areas. The characteristic rash may appear within 48 hours after exposure to the parasite. The discomfort is generally short-lived and the rash vanishes within a few days.

Causes

Cercarial dermatitis is caused by parasites that normally thrive on waterfowl and freshwater snails. These parasites can be released into water through infected eggs and feces. The parasites can burrow into the skin of humans who swim in contaminated water (hence the term "swimmer's itch"). Soon after burrowing, they die and leave an itchy rash. Cercarial dermatitis in humans is never contagious.

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