Itchy bather or schistosomatidny dermatitis: treatment, photo disease, reviews

August 12, 2017 15:31 | Dermatitis

Schistosomatid or cercaria dermatitis, as the disease in medicine is called, can compete with other diseases for the number of names in practical treatment: water nettle, water itch, rotten mud, itch bathers, etc. Due to parasitic action of larvae of schistosomatids living in tropical, subtropical water bodiesAnd equatorial belts.

And today we'll talk about whether there is a water nettle, how to treat the itch of a bather, find out if it is contagious, consider photos of patients, give useful advice.

Features of the disease

For many years the disease was registered in countries with tropical climate on the continents of Africa, South America, Australia.In the middle of the 20th century, scientists Popov, Chebotarev and Kurochkin described cases of schistosomatid dermatitis in the lower reaches of the Volga, Dnieper and Dniester.

In the United States, near Lake Michigan, cases of parasitic disease have also been reported.According to Sanepidnadzor of Russia and the Republican Center of Hygiene o

f Belarus, schistosomatid dermatitis has ceased to be a rare disease in temperate latitudes.

Adult individuals of schistosomatids live in birds of fresh water in the liver and blood vessels.In total there are 20 varieties of schistosomatids that can become causative agents of cervical dermatitis.The most probable distribution in Russia was received by representatives of the genus Trichobilharzia and the species Bilharziella polonika.

Adult parasites release several thousand eggs into the environment together with the feces of their host at a time.Before the schistosomatid enters the body of an intermediate non-specific host-a human, its egg develops in stages in the larval stage.

The first stage of development of the egg ends with the formation of a first-level larva, miracidia.At that time the larva is covered with an egg shell.For further development miracidium resets the membrane before penetrating the mantle cavity of gastropod mollusks( large and small pond snail, etc.).The gastropod to the end of the postnatal period is the "factory" for turning miracidia into a cercaria - a second-level larva.

One shellfish is capable of releasing about 10 thousand cercariae per day.The transformation of miracidia into cercaria, depending on the temperature of the water, takes 28-45 days.Inhabit cercariae in the surface layer of water, forming part of the plankton.In cool water, cercariae can live for 6 days, in warmer water their life time is shortened.

Currently, cases of cercaria penetration into the human body and in seawater begin to be recorded.In ducks and swans after 2-3 weeks of cercariae, the larva directs to the walls of blood vessels or liver ducts, where it turns into an adult schistosomatid and begins to produce eggs.

For a person, the penetration of cercaria into the skin is not a specific natural pattern.Deeper than subcutaneous fatty tissue, the parasite does not penetrate.In the place of lesions, physical injuries of the skin appear, the decomposition of cercariae causes toxic allergic dermatitis. Open wounds can serve as gates for the invasion of a secondary infection.

Water nettle or pruritus of the bather( photo)

Itch bather

Stages of

Given the changes in the clinical picture of time, the development of the disease fits into 3 stages.

  1. The stage of penetration of the larva into human skin.With a large-scale phenomenon, the next stage occurs in 20-25 minutes.
  2. Development of the clinical picture of within 10-15 days.It is considered an acute period of parasitic disease, when the symptoms are most pronounced.Stage of remission.
  3. . Clinical signs disappear, but the pigmentation in the affected areas is restored within 20 days.

In addition to the dermal form of schistosomatid dermatitis, there is a more severe form - pulmonary, when the cercariae attack the blood vessels of the lungs and are sources of inflammation and damage to the pulmonary vessels.The pulmonary form is less common than the cutaneous form.

More details about the itch of the bather will tell this video:

Reasons of occurrence

Cercariae penetrate the human skin when swimming in a pond.Most of the hotbeds of cercaria are fresh water reservoirs with standing water, rivers, ponds.When swimming in a pond, you should pay attention to the habitat of waterfowl in it.

The cases of penetration of larvae of schistosomatids into the skin are recorded when walking barefoot in shallow water, wet from the dew grass near the shore of the reservoir.Periodically, after 15-20 minutes of such walks, feet should be wiped dry with a cloth.

On the symptoms of water nettle symptoms, read below.

Symptoms of the bather's itch

Itchy bather A few minutes after the penetration of the larva into the skin, the bathing person begins to feel itchy.In the affected area, pain, burning becomes worse, reddening appears with urticaria.

The skin is most susceptible to penetration by the hips and thighs, although there is a rash with papules, sometimes releasing a serous-purulent secret, on the skin of the trunk( abdomen, back, chest).Often urticaria rash with cervical dermatitis is detected up to the boundary of the dermal surface immersed in water.

For children, the pulmonary form of the disease is often accompanied by high body temperature( over 38 degrees), headache and dry cough.Subsequently, unpleasant symptoms are eliminated, leaving for a time the areas of the skin, devoid of pigmentation.

Recurrent infection with schistosomatidic dermatitis causes an increase in the intensity of the clinical picture.

Diagnosis of such a disease as schistosomatidic cercariosis is discussed below.


The dominant method for diagnosing schistosomatid dermatitis is the history of the data, during which it becomes clear:

  • in which body the person bathed;
  • duration of bathing;
  • did he notice the traces of a waterfowl visit by waterfowl( feces, ear and feathers, birds' voices, etc.).

In addition, the disease should be differentiated with contact types of dermatitis, bite marks from insects.Microscopic analysis( or magnifying glass) can verify the presence in the skin of schistosomatids over the discarded tails of animal larvae.

And now let's find out how to get rid of the bather's itch.



Outside, it is recommended to treat the disease in the acute phase with starch trays, ointment with the main component - zinc.When repeated infections with schistosomatides, it is desirable to lubricate the exterior with hydrocortisone ointment.Dietazine and diphenhydramine ointments have proved to be very effective in treating cervical dermatitis.

Next, we will tell you how to cure the itch of a bather with the help of medicines, and whether spragal helps with this( according to doctors and patients).


Itchy bather

  • For parasitic disease, a dermatologist may be administered internally with dimedrol or ditrazine.
  • Heavy forms do not exclude the introduction of oral solutions of prednisolone or adrenocorticotropic hormone.
  • To reduce itching and pain, you can use solutions of benzocaine( anestezina) on an oil base.


Usually, the disease is limited to the spread of cercariae over the skin areas, the larvae no longer penetrate into the subcutaneous layers.As a result of rapid recovery, the surgical route of treatment is not advisable.

Next, we'll talk about how to treat the itch of a bather folk methods.

Traditional medicine

Herbal composition for the treatment of cervical dermatitis does not differ from that with other types of dermatitis.

  • Potato lotions,
  • dressing with a mixture of crushed aloe,
  • grape red wine,
  • castor oil,
  • tar and
  • herbal mixtures of celandine, cornflower, string.

They contribute to a faster cure for schistosomatid dermatitis.

Prevention of disease

A set of preventive measures to prevent infection with schistosomatides includes the following measures:

  • in an open fresh water reservoir is not recommended for more than 5 minutes;
  • should be swim on beaches equipped for this and away from large populations of gastropods and birds on the water;
  • wild waterfowl should not be fed near swimming places;
  • after leaving the water should wash the body with water from the water pipe or get rid of moisture and possible parasites with a hard towel;
  • to pay attention to the information placed on the stands near the places of bathing;
  • walking along the coast and near water lagoons can not be continued for more than 4 minutes, after this time, the feet are to be dry wiped with a cloth.

Itchy bather

Itchy bather

Itchy bather

  • The cutaneous form of the disease passes by itself, the treatment is only aimed at reducing the intensity of symptoms.
  • The pulmonary form of the disease is more dangerous, which requires treatment by a dermatologist and infectious disease specialist.Otherwise, vascular-pulmonary complications are not excluded.


The prognosis of the disease is defined as favorable. But to prevent strong scratching and the development of allergic reactions, it is desirable to weaken the symptoms of the above methods of treatment.

Doctors in the video below will tell you how to protect yourself from the bather's itch: