The critters are a duck parasite that gets into you by mistake. They are in the water looking for ducks. When the water dries up they burrow under your skin and die. The itching is your bodies immune response to the foreign protien in your body. It takes a couple weeks or more to get rid of the offending protein. Unless you scratch them off first with your nails or abrasive soaps (sandpaper or a wirebrush might work too but I don't recommend it, just kidding). If you know that you have been exposed you can minimise your misery by toweling off immediately after exiting the water (not air drying) This is admittedly hard to do in our sport. After you have broken out you can only treat the symtoms and hope to avoid reexposure. Rx OTC: Oral antihistamines: Generic Benadril 25-50 mg every 4 hrs. It will make most people sleepy but this is desirable overnight. Topical Cortizone creams: 1% Hydrocortizone (generic) applied to affected areas up to 4X/day Topical(Skin Creams) Antihistamines: Benadril creams (less effective) used up to 4X/day
Prescription RX: Cortizone: Oral or IM shot reserved for when it really is "driving you crazy" Topical Cortizone creams more effective and don't need to be applied as often (eg. Triamcinalone ) Antihistamines: Any that are used for allergy treatment will help and don't need to be taken as often. (eg Claritin, Allegra) Atarax - old drug that helps a little better than benadril but needs to be taken 4X/day
Be alert for secondary infecton from all the scratching, This would be an area that is running together of the red spots and more pain rather than itching.
The chiggers tend to be in shallow water, reedy areas where ducks and snails congregate. often downwind areas. They are present for two to four weeks usually in the spring then go away for the summer(most of the time).
LAKAWA Knowledge Base - What are your secrets to wind and water success? Share what you've learned that may assist others.
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