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cercarial dermatitis (swimmers' itch)

Clinical Images: Cercarial Dermatitis

Clinical Images: Cercarial Dermatitis

Teaser: 

Kerry Gardner, MD,1 Joseph M. Lam, MD, FRCPC,2

1Resident, Department of Dermatology and Skin Science, University of British Columbia, BC.
2Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Dermatology, University of British Columbia, BC.

CLINICAL TOOLS

Abstract: Cercarial dermatitis (swimmers' itch) consists of urticarial papules that form when the larvae of avian parasitic flatworms penetrate the skin. Cercarial dermatitis is common in the summer months where heaviest recreational swimming occurs, and when the temperature is ideal for amplified schistosome development.
Key Words: cercarial dermatitis (swimmers' itch), non-communicable, water-borne disease.
Cercarial dermatitis usually occurs with exposure to fresh water, but can occur with shallow salt water exposure as well.
The eruption typically occurs on uncovered skin 12-24 hours (up to 8 days) after exposure.
The eruption is self-limited, lasting 4-10 days (up to 20 days).
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