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Swimmer's itch is caused by a small parasite that lives in snails. In humans, the parasite digs into the skin and dies, causing an itchy skin reaction. To avoid the itch, don't swim in areas known to have it, shower immediately after swimming, and scrub your skin with a rough towel. If you or your kids get the itch, your doctor can prescribe a cream or may suggest antihistamines to relieve the itch.