Swimmers’ Itch at Crystal Lake’s Main Beach

From the McHenry County Health Department:

Health officials issue contamination advisory at Crystal Lake beach

McHENRY COUNTY — The McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) has received recent reports of swimmer’s itch from Lake Park Beach (Crystal Lake Main Beach), 300 Lakeshore Drive in Crystal Lake. 

A Crystal Lake Main Beach silhouette.

The MCDH and Crystal Lake Park District are monitoring for additional complaints. A Swimmer’s Advisory has been posted at the beach.

Swimmer’s itch, also called cercarial dermatitis, appears as a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to certain microscopic parasites that infect some birds and mammals.

These parasites are released from infected snails into the water.

If the parasite comes into contact with a swimmer, it burrows into the skin causing an allergic reaction and rash.

Swimmer’s itch is found throughout the world and is more frequent during summer months. 

Swimmer’s itch is not contagious and cannot be spread from one person to another.

Anyone who swims or wades in infested water may be at risk.

Larvae are more likely to be present in shallow water by the shoreline.

Children are most often affected because they tend to swim, wade, and play in the shallow water more than adults.

To reduce the likelihood of developing swimmer’s itch, towel dry or shower immediately after leaving the water.

If you experience symptoms of swimmers itch please contact the MCDH by calling at (815) 334-4585 or the beach operator. This advisory will remain posted until such time no additional complaints are received for a minimum of 10 days.   

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the following if you have swimmer’s rash and want relief      

  • Use corticosteroid cream
  • Apply cool compresses to the affected areas
  • Bathe in Epsom salts or baking soda
  • Soak in colloidal oatmeal bath
  • Apply baking soda paste to the rash
  • Use an anti-itch lotion

For more information about public beach advisories and closures in McHenry County, please visit http://bit.ly/MCDHBeaches.


Swimmers’ Itch at Crystal Lake’s Main Beach — 22 Comments

  1. Swimmer’s itch comes from avian fecal matter.

    Avoid Crystal Lake.

  2. This is stupid. Everyone through the seventies KNEW that you rinse off completely immediately after getting out of the lake and briskly brush your skin dry. No one is telling people that anymore. Oh, go to the doctor if you get swimmer’s itch. You pansies! There has always been an inordinately high amount of duck shit in the lake. Get over the fear porn.

  3. The CDC’s new guidelines recommend double masking to avoid swimmers itch.

  4. Were they wearing their CoVid masks ?

    Inquiring minds must know for their own protection.

    Tony “The Weasel” Fauchi must be consulted immediately.

  5. The CDC also says that it’s OK to pee in the pool if you wear two swimsuits.

  6. There’s bugs and poop in the water making people itch.

    But if you go the pool, sure there is chlorine but a lot more pee pee and blood parts per million than the lakes.

    It’s hard to win with water.

  7. The current drought makes this itch worse.

    What are the Fecal coliform numbers?

  8. Aw Yes the Chithole… another lake ruined by man into a SWAMP… soon we will call it the brown rio… of the north onto the 14million tax paid three oaks man made swamp next … they move to …

  9. I told you it was a cesspool.

    Has been since the 60’s.

    Calling it “Crystal” seems a bit of a stretch.

    I guess renaming it Duck Shit Lake is out of the question.

    It will cause to much of a stir at the Post Office.

  10. The last ranking of purity of Illinois lakes I saw had Crystal Lake at fifth or sixth.

  11. If the fecal coliform count were too high, the beach would have been closed.

  12. I’d rather swim in that Lake with the parasites than get vaxxed!

  13. I remember as a kid, the rumor that all the sewers on the North Shore flushed into the lake.

    At any rate, there would always be feces around the big raft after the “break time”, when they used to make everyone get out of the lake for 10-15 minutes.

    Some brave soul would do a cannonball from the highest diving board to make it float away.

  14. There were no sewers.

    The runoff was from septic tanks.

    Thanks Arlene Fetzner and Leona Nelson for getting sewers installed.

  15. Leona Nelson died years ago.

    She fought RINOs till the day she died!

  16. Actually, she was a convert.

    She managed the campaign of my Democratic opponent for County Treasurer in 1966.

  17. Yeah, but was that Democrat a crazy wacko?


    Cal, that would be a great post: your experience over many decades on how the political parties have changed.

    If you need help brainstorming or making an outline, I could help.

    Lopez probably has some good insight too.

    He’s not as old as you, but things have changed very fast in a short period of time.

  18. Hey Cal, please note that it was the storm drains on the North Shore that drained into Crystal Lake, not the septic tanks.

    As the guy who converted many of the old septics into sewers after the mains were installed in the late 90’s, I never saw any tanks directed to the lake.

    Problem could be if the septic field was over saturated the septic effluent could surface to the ground and then mix with the rain water, then to the storm sewer.

    Many of the houses were built mainly as summer cottages without washing machines and small drain fields.

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