Swimmers may want to think twice before taking a plunge in Lake Jacksonville. At least two people have been diagnosed with swimmers' itch after swimming in the lake. It's a rash caused by an allergic reaction to certain parasites in the water. Signs and symptoms include tingling, burning or itching skin, small reddish pimples, or blisters.
Itching may last up to a week or more, but will gradually go away. Those who become infected should try not to scratch the area because it can lead to a secondary infection. Most cases of swimmer's itch don't require medical attention but there are a few remedies to help ease the pain. Try anti-itch lotion, bathe in Epsom salt, or soak in an oatmeal bath. Anyone who swims or wades in infested water may be at risk and the more you swim in the infested water, the more likely you are to develop more serious symptoms. Swimmer's itch is not contagious and cannot be spread person-to-person.