6 Tips to Prevent and Treat Swimmer’s Itch

In my research on Swimmer’s  Itch I came across the below list of tips.  Not all relevant to our pond, but most!

As our folks around the pond become more aware how harmful it is for us humans, water quality and the waterfowl by feeding the waterfowl,  hopefully we will have less cases  of swimmer’s itch reported this season.

1. Avoid Busy Beaches – Swimmer’s Itch is most common in highly populated beaches where ducks, especially the merganser duck, and snails are commonly found. Avoiding these swimming areas will decrease your chances of coming in contact with the parasite in the first place. Deeper water and moving water, such as rivers, are also less likely to carry the larvae in search of hosts.

2. Towel Off – Kids are most susceptible to swimmers itch as they tend to spend long amounts of time in shallow water and air dry. Try to towel off agressively after each swim.

3. Protect Your Skin – Creating a waterproof barrier seems to help prevent the parasites from burrowing into the skin. One way to do that is with Baby Oil. But you’re going to want sunblock to go under that. And kids are squirmy enough putting on one protective layer, much less two. We’ve discovered two brands of sunblock that do the job. Bullfrog gel sunblock works pretty well and is readily available in most stores. But we’ve had the best luck with a Wisconsin product called Swimmer’s Itch Guard. It’s made from natural ingredients, smells and feels a lot like vapor rub, but it works like a dream. This is the best prevention we’ve found. You can find it in a few Traverse City stores, and order it online here: swimmersitchguard.com It’s pricy, but if your kids plan to spend much time in the water it’s well worth it.

4. Don’t Panic – If you get the dreaded itch don’t panic and swear off swimming for the rest of the season. The bumps will itch for a day or two then they’ll just be red and ugly but not painful. The more sensitive your skin is the more susceptible you are to the parasites. I’ve swam with my kids and never got it when they’ve been covered. So it doesn’t affect everyone the same way.Unfortunately if you’ve had it once, you’re more likely to get it again.

5. Treatment – Applying an antihistamine creme on the spots to help with the itch, or swallowing a dose of Benadryl if it’s really bad, has always helped my family. The bumps will go away in about a week. (The worst part is the fearful look you get from strangers who think you have a raging case of measles.)

6. Don’t Feed the Ducks! – Waterfowl like merganser ducks, Canada geese, swans, and mallards are the hosts of these parasites. The eggs are returned to the water in the duck feces thereby repeating the life cycle. When the ducks are fed at beaches they congregate there thus making those sites especially susceptible to Swimmer’s Itch. On lakes where swimmer’s itch is common you can expect every common merganser duck is infected and capable of spreading the parasite.


New England Milfoil back for 2018

The crew from New England Milfoil, based in Brownfield Maine, is back to work removing milfoil from Collins Pond. They will be working for 8 days starting June 4th through June 7th and again from June 11th through 14th. We plan to have them return later in the summer for another week or two, dependent upon donations. Grants from the Maine DEP and the Town of Windham are helping to support this work, along with your donations. The Collins Pond DASH boat will also be working soon on the pond. Click on the DONATE button to assist us in this effort.

New & Exciting Opportunity For CPIA & YOU!

Evergreen Credit Union has selected Collins Pond Improvement Association  to be one of the beneficiaries of their 2nd Annual Evergreen Fundraising jetski Raffle!

Howard Lowell,  VP of Evergreen Credit Union  stated ” We hope the funds donated can help your efforts to protect and preserve lake quality, including educating lake-shore residents and visitors.  We know how important lake quality is to the overall health of the community”    It is so wonderful to have the support of one of our local business!  Did you know Evergreen Credit Union was voted one of 2016 Best Places to work in Maine!  Learn more about this local company and their services at www.egcu.org

First prize:  a 2018 EX waverunner with courtesy package valued at $10,000+.  Donated by Long Lake Marina.   Actual jetski can be seen in our Windham and Riverside branches

Tickets are now on sale so run down to the Windham Branch and pickup your tickets to support all these great causes and pass the word!  You might even win a JetSki!  How awesome is that! 

Ticket books are available in all Evergreen CU branches. Ticket prices:

Drawing at noon on July 17 at the Windham branch, 785 Roosevelt Trail Full details are here:  https://www.egcu.org/raffle

All proceeds benefit:

  • 5 Lake Associations around Sebago area
  • Portland Trails – visit www.trails.org
  • Local food pantries

Disclosures – are on the web site