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Spending the day on Lady Bird Lake? Here's what you need to know about swimmer's itch

Hot temperatures mean more people are heading out to our lakes and rivers. The heat makes it a breeding ground for bacteria that can give you a rash.

AUSTIN, Texas — A TikTok video has gone viral after Reagan Caussey went paddle boarding in Lady Bird Lake. In the video, Caussey said she got swimmer's itch, also called cercarial dermatitis. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains it appears as a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to certain microscopic parasites that infect some birds and mammals.

"It's [the rash] all over my body," Caussey explained in the TikTok video.

The CDC said swimmer's itch is more common during the summer months. Physician Guadalupe Zamora said when this parasite comes in contact with a person, it digs into the person's skin. He recommends you to do one thing after getting out of a body of water.

"You should be able to wash them off because it takes a bit to get into your skin," said Zamora. "They will try to burrow. They will try to get under your skin. But if you're able to get out, once you get out of the water, just wash off. You'll be fine."

KVUE reached out to Austin's Watershed Protection Department and asked if it is safe to be in Lady Bird Lake. 

"Lady Bird Lake continues to meet State of Texas contact recreation standards, which are based on bacteria levels," a spokesperson for the department said.

However, they do say when interacting with natural bodies of water, exposure to bacteria or parasites is always possible.

 The CDC said these are common symptoms of swimmers itch:

  • tingling, burning or itching of the skin
  • small reddish pimples
  • small blisters

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