How to treat Swimmer Itch (Duck Itch)

What is Swimmer’s Itch?

Growing up in Canada everyone knows what duck itch or swimmers itch is and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t had it. Once it flares up it resembles chicken pox.  It’s a ‘worm-like’ parasite that burrows in the skin resulting in itchy spots and usually lasts 3-5 days.

How not to get it!

Duck itch does not occur in all lakes in Canada but can be found in lakes with ducks and plants.  It’s normally easy to avoid by simply toweling off after swimming or having a shower, but as you can see we were not camping in an area with a toilet block.  It was rather rustic.

Free Camping Stump Lake BC

My daughter started itching as soon as she came out of the water, I honestly thought it was the sun-screen that I had borrowed from one of my cousins.  However, the next day, I got the ‘mummy look at this’ and within a nanosecond I knew what it was, as my cousin had a serious bout of it last year from the same lake.  Apparently, the itching happens immediately as this is when the parasites are burrowing under the skin!  I bet you’re now scratching.  ;-)

What does duck itch look like?

Weirdly, all of the adults had been in the same water with her and didn’t get it.  I’m guessing it was because we probably toweled off, although I can’t remember and she simply dried in the sun.

Stump Lake, BC

We were very lucky as she didn’t suffer from too much itching nor required taping oven gloves to her hands to stop her scratching.

Here is what we did:

  • Dash to the pharmacy to get supplies (children’s antihistamine, baking soda and calamine lotion)
  • In Canada, I purchased Children’s Benylin, I’m not sure what the UK equivalent is  so check with the pharmacist.  According to the instructions we were able to give her a dose every four hours but please do check.
  • When she had a bath we added a tablespoon of baking soda, which seemed to have a soothing affect.
  • If she started itching I applied calamine lotion, as you can see I used a cotton bud, which was very time consuming, but have now learned that you can actually smear it all over.

Using Calamine Lotion for Swimmer's Itch

Girls Romper Suit

Thanks to all of this the pesky little buggers didn’t ruin our holiday.

Disclosure:  The playsuit was compliments of Littlewoods.








What a difference a word makes…..

As many of you know I have recently turned 40 and I look a bit worse for wear. In an attempt, to stay looking younger, I’ve tried quite a few things from sticking 100s of tiny pins into my face to a mild chemical peal! However, I’m not willing to go under the knife…..yet!

A few months ago, prior to my first Radio Frequency treatment; which is a non-invasive treatment where a device is used to heat up the skin to 42 degrees to stimulate collagen growth, thus reducing wrinkles, I announced on Twitter that I was having Radio Therapy which is a whole different kettle of fish. I do apologise if I caused any alarm.

I haven’t done a ‘Cilla Black’ and they didn’t need to freeze my face first. It’s virtually painless. You get the odd ting when the frequency bounces off a bone, a rather odd sensation but not painful in the least and at times it may get a bit warm. The procedure takes about 45 minutes and I nearly fell asleep as I was so relaxed. Following the treatment, Carolina from the Anti-Ageing Clinic, who has the skin of a 30 year old but is my age (b*tch), put a cooling mask on my face. There was a rather technical name for it but in short it’s full of water.

Then she uses a red light, which again stimulates collagen growth. Apparently, you can buy one of these and use them at home but personally can’t see myself doing that as I’m lucky if I remember to take my make up off before hitting my silk pillow.

As I’ve said I’ve tried a few other things and honestly, this is the only one that I have instantly noticed a difference. I have had two treatments (£75 each) my crow’s feet and laugh lines are by no means gone, but are now a lot better.
Apparently, our next adventure is the Dermaroller Pen! I’ll let you know how we get on!

Disclosure: the treatments were compliments of the Anti-Ageing Clinic