Unfortunately, parasites can live and feed not only in a person’s internal organs, but also penetrate under the skin. It causes a number of diseases that have their own specifics. It is important to diagnose the cause of unpleasant symptoms in time and start treatment before parasitic worms cause great damage to the body. Most parasites that live under the skin can be infected only in tropical latitudes: swimming in a standing pond, drinking unboiled water or falling victim to blood-sucking insects. But some individuals "settle" in their body without leaving home.
Types of diseases and parasites
Medicine distinguishes between diseases whose diagnosis indicates subcutaneous worms in humans.
- cysticercosis. Its causative agents are tapeworm larvae. They usually enter the body with unboiled water or food. These worms are localized in the internal organs, eyes, brain, muscles and under the skin (observed on the shoulders, palms, chest). Such parasites can live in humans for years, thickening and swelling are created under the epidermis, which thickens over time. The diagnosis is slightly facilitated by urticaria, which is constantly manifested by skin rashes.
- Schistosomiasis. This disease is caused by helminths that live in the waters of Africa and Asia. Worms affect the genitourinary system and skin. The main symptoms are itching, rash, dermatitis, profuse sweating at night, kidney damage, enlarged liver.
- Filariasis. These are not even similar nematodes that live in South America, Asia and Africa. They are transmitted by blood-sucking insects. The disease develops for a very long time (up to seven years), but causes a number of skin pathologies: ulcers, eczema, nodules, papules, rashes. If a person does not pay attention to constant headaches, drowsiness, sleep disturbance and general weakness, complications in the form of arthrosis, glaucoma, cataracts can develop.
- Scabies. Scabies mites half a century ago were quite common. It inhabits the deep layers of the epithelium, feeds on it and lays eggs there. The female parasite lives for about two months, but manages to lay several dozen eggs under the skin. Ticks pierce the passages in the epithelium and that is what causes severe itching. Places of localization - wrinkles on the body, sides of the thighs, mammary glands, armpits, genitals and hair. Human skin is covered with a rash that forms blisters, pimples, ulcers and other complications appear.
- Dirofillaria. These are parasites that can exist not only subcutaneously but also affect the eyeball. Females of these worms reach a length of up to 30 cm, and males - up to 10. Carriers of worms of this species are dogs and cats, and by biting them, mosquitoes transmit microfilariae larvae to humans. In this case, the development of an adult in the body can take years. According to statistics, most eyeball removal falls on the diagnosis of heartworm disease, after complete deterioration of vision, all the way to blindness. Seals form under the skin, which itch, turn red and can reach the size of an egg. There is an adult worm in them.
- Dracunculosis (Guinea worm). These are roundworms, which reach a length of up to 120 centimeters. More common in tropical climates. In addition to humans, cats and dogs are also affected. You can get infected with them if you drink unboiled water, swim in polluted tanks. Once in the body in the form of a larva, the worm reaches adulthood only after one year of life in the person. Most often, the feet suffer from this disease: they are prone to complications such as the development of contractures, inflammation of the joints. In addition, the presence of guinea worms inside a person is fraught with gangrene and blood poisoning.
- Hookworm disease. The causative worms live in places of tropical and subtropical climates. Hookworms are inserted under a person’s skin through the slightest damage to the skin (usually the leg) and remain parasitic there. The disease is manifested by symptoms such as severe itching, sometimes cough, anemia, and signs of damage to internal organs.
- Demodectic mange. This is one of the most common dermatological problems. It is caused by the penetration of a subcutaneous tick agent. This is not a helminthic disease, but the pest also lives in the layers of the epidermis (in the meibomian ducts and sebaceous glands). Symptoms of the parasite: abundant, pronounced acne on the face, cheeks, forehead and around the eyes, sometimes eyelash loss.
Diagnosis, symptoms and signs
If subcutaneous worms and parasites are suspected, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible, as some people live in humans for several years before they are "pleased" with the symptoms.
Since the clinical picture of worms and other subcutaneous inhabitants is quite ambiguous and many symptoms appear individually, there is usually no unambiguous list of signs. There are a number of indicators that may indicate subcutaneous parasites: constant itching, skin irritation, seals of various sizes, rash, small bubbles on the surface of the epithelium, indirectly - sleep disorders, fatigue. To find out the etiology of such manifestations and rule out helminthic invasion, you must visit a number of experts, among them:
- infectious disease specialist;
- psychologist (if previous experts did not find pathologies in their profile).
Diagnosis takes place in several ways, depending on the symptoms:
- blood test for antigens;
- examination of the epidermal sample;
- taking secrets;
It is these indicators that can detect the presence or absence of parasites on a person's skin.
Traditional methods of pest control
Treatment directly depends on the type of parasitic worm. In each individual case, the appropriate therapy is selected, taking into account the age and the phase of neglect of the problem. Most drugs are quite toxic not only to worms, but also to the human body.
- get rid of dracunculiasis is possible only by surgery;
- the scabies parasite is effectively expelled with hydrochloric acid and sulfur soap;
- antimony medicine will help with schistosomiasis;
- the body gets rid of demodicosis with a cosmetic line for facial skin care (special soap for washing, cream).
In addition to traditional drug treatment, the patient should tighten hygienic procedures, carefully monitor the cleanliness of the body, premises, clothing and avoid unnecessary contact with people. In some cases, you will need diet food, skin care cosmetics.
Prevention of subcutaneous worms
You have to be extremely careful with helminthic invasions, because the parasites are quite easy to settle in the body, and it can take years for a correct diagnosis and cure.
To reduce the risk of subcutaneous worm infection, doctors advise to remember the following rules:
- you must be vaccinated before traveling to countries with tropical climates;
- always follow the rules of hygiene: wash your hands after contact with a large number of people, money, after going to the toilet, before eating;
- women should not use other people's cosmetics, because there is a high risk of getting parasite larvae (or ticks) on their skin;
- fruits and vegetables should be washed well before use, but it is better to pour boiling water over them, expose the meat to long-term thermal effects, boil drinking water;
- carefully treat any skin damage with antiseptics, especially in the tropics;
- do not swim in dirty and suspicious waters.
If the parasites have settled under the skin, this is a reason to consult a dermatologist as soon as possible. He will be able to determine the type of worm and prescribe adequate treatment. In most cases, the patient is waiting for conservative therapy, including taking anthelmintic drugs and other drugs that alleviate the symptoms of the disease in humans.