4 Common Water Rashes and How to Treat Them

4 Common Water Rashes and How to Treat Them

May 08, 2019

Trying out water sports can be fun, but getting rashes while doing it can make your day or worse, your entire vacation, a mess. If you experience this, chances are, you’ve been exposed to something icky, either a parasite or bacteria, in the water. Here, we list four common water rashes and what to do about them.

Swimmer’s Itch

If you get bumpy, red rashes that resemble scattered mosquito bites, you might have swimmer’s itch. It is caused by the larvae of a worm-like parasite that is passed between birds and snails into the water.

What to do about it: When swimming, avoid lake vegetation and avoid morning dips. This is the time when parasites are most active. Relieve itching by applying corticosteroid creams or applying cool compresses on the affected area.

Cyanobacterial rash

Also called blue-green algae rash, this is caused by cyanobacteria, which is responsible for blue-green algae in the water. The rashes tend to be larger and appears like an intense eczema. The rash usually lasts two to three days, and could be more intense, depending on the length of exposure. It can be intense enough to develop lesions and cause skin breakage.

What to do about it: Because the rashes are larger, they tend to be more itchy. Apply calamine lotion or an over-the-counter corticosteroid cream.

Pseudomonas Rash

Pseudomonas are usually found in soil and water and can cause a rash if the person has a cut or wound. The rash may look like swimmer’s itch, but sometimes, it can also appear with a white pustule in the middle of each spot.

What to do about it: If the person has a wound, clean the infected area with soap and clean running water. If the rashes appear and start to itch, an over-the-counter antihistamine would help.

Sea Bather’s Eruption

This type of rash affects areas of the skin covered by a bathing suit, rather than exposed areas, after swimming in the sea. It stems from hypersensitivity to jellyfish larvae in the water and appears as very itchy red bumps on the skin.

What to do about it: Rinse the seawater off your body after swimming in saltwater. Minor symptoms can be relieved using corticosteroid cream and calamine lotion.

Remember, if symptoms do not improve, consult a doctor so that you’ll be given appropriate treatment.

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