It Might Not Be Chiggers

You May Have Swimmers Itch, Not Chiggers

If you find yourself scratching with the common symptoms of chiggers, consider something else instead. Many symptoms of chiggers are the same as swimmers itch. If you’re treating the chiggers but nothing is happening, you see no results and you cannot take the itch any longer – consider treating swimmers itch instead.


  • Red spots that itch right after swimming or up to 24 hours after swimming
  • The red spots will increase with size and swell within 48 hours
  • Rough, dry patches on the skin that are itchy and painful

Swimmers itch is often misdiagnosed as chiggers, poison ivy or nettles due to the way the rash looks.

What is Swimmers Itch?

A type of skin irritation that is caused by the larvae of flatworms. It occurs in many lakes in many areas across the United States. These worms have a complex life cycle and are not parasites of humans, the larvae still manage to burrow into the skin of the swimmers to help complete their life cycle. They are invisible to the naked eye since they are so small. They will soon die under the skin, since humans are not the correct species for them to live inside. This can then cause an allergic reaction to happen in the human – dry, itchy, red patchy skin. These species of worms are naturally occurring in many of the lakes. Not all of the larvae can cause swimmers itch though. It is able to happen in any country, state, region that they are present in.

Treating Swimmers Itch

In order to control the larvae found in the water, a lot of people that own the bodies of water or are by them will use copper sulfate in an effort to control the species. This is something that may require a permit in order to be used in the body of water in certain states. Copper sulfate is not harmful to humans, but it is to snails, the larvae and many aquatic animals and plants. This poses a threat to those things that will carry the poison around with them for some time. These larvae also tend to build up a resistance to this chemical, which makes it ineffective, bad for the bodies of water and doesn’t cure swimmers itch.

There is no real way to cure swimmers itch, but you can take care of the symptoms that you’re having. Using an anti-inflammatory and anti-itch cream can help relieve the itching and swelling associated with the rash. Epsom salts, baking soda and oatmeal in a warm bath can sooth the irritated skin. Cool compresses are also able to help cool and relieve the itchy site. Speak with your healthcare provider if you’ve tried these methods and continue to have a rash for more than one week.

Next time you think you have chiggers, think again… if you went swimming recently in a lake, it just might be swimmers itch that you have to take care of.

Then next time, your going swimming in the lake use our exclusive swimmer’s itch product and you’ll repell the larvae that cause swimmers itch and prevent future / further irritations.