Were you at the lake last weekend? You may be dealing with what's going around this week.
Let's start with the swimmer's itch that Nurse Practitioner Linda Eckerson at McLaren Greater Lansing-DeWitt Family Medicine is treating.
It's caused by a parasite. You'll see a small red spot appear within 30 minutes, and then you'll get multiple rashes that will get bigger over 24 to 30 hours. It will be itchy for up to a week.
Treat swimmer's itch by using antihistamines or anti-itch creams. Your doctor might prescribe something stronger. Swimmer's itch usually clears up on its own within a week.
Nurse Practitioner Eckerson is also treating people with swimmer's ear.
It starts with mild discomfort and itching. You'll get some clear drainage coming from the ear, too. Other symptoms are ear pain, decreased or muffled hearing, and a feeling of fullness in the ear.
See a doctor as soon as possible, even if your symptoms are mild. Keep your ear as dry as possible, take a pain reliever if you need to, and apply warm compresses for pain. Your doctor may prescribe ear drops.
You can prevent swimmer's ear by keeping your ears dry and not swimming in areas with high bacteria counts.