Photos and videos with symptoms of subcutaneous parasites in humans are not a pleasant sight. Unlike intestinal worms, the existence of which one may not even know, epithelial infections are easily seen. In this case, the person experiences constant discomfort due to the symptoms accompanying the lesion. This helps to start diagnosing the disease as early as possible and start treatment. Photograph of subcutaneous parasites in humans causes emotions close to disgust, but the symptoms of the infection are much more unpleasant. The picture does not convey a person's feelings from the realization that someone is crawling on his body. But epithelial infections pose not only discomfort but also a significant danger to the health of the whole body. The toxins released by the parasite's body can affect all organs, and the helminths themselves like to spread in the human body. So the appearance of dermatological problems can be a sign of danger to the patient's life due to the presence of helminths in the brain, visual organs or heart.
What parasites live in the skin?
Dermatological problems can cause a wide variety of infections. If worms are most often diagnosed during an intestinal infection, then insects and protozoa can also be found under the skin. Mosquitoes, ticks and other blood-sucking parasites usually feed unnoticed and are excreted by humans, but there are also those that continue to live and multiply in the body.
Each of these types of infections has its own ways of penetrating the human body. The symptoms and effects of the infection also vary considerably. Accordingly, the treatment of the disease will proceed in different ways. But to distinguish one parasitic infection from another and determine who lives in the body, it is necessary to undergo a long diagnosis. The doctor, knowing the characteristics and habitats of different parasites, will suggest the most likely option before the start of the tests, focusing only on the symptoms and the patient's travel map around the world.
The most common disease of this type is leishmaniasis. It is caused by the simplest parasites that have given the name to the pathology. 9 out of 10 infections occur in only a few countries:
- Saudi Arabia;
The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and some species of flies. Pathogens do not survive in temperate climates, so you can only get leishmaniasis after a holiday in hot countries with tropical climates.
When infected, the infection forms ulcers at the site of the insect bite. Over time, it heals and leaves an uneven scar. In many outbreaks, leishmaniasis can look like leprosy. The danger of this disease is that it passes from the skin into the lymphatic system and can affect the internal organs, gradually destroying them. In this case, the parasites live inside the cells, so the immune bodies are of little use in fighting the protozoa. But after a one-time experience in the fight against leishmaniasis, immunity is formed.
Insects among subcutaneous parasites
Diseases caused by such an invasion are called entomoses. There are several varieties of these subcutaneous parasites in humans:
- Sarcopsilosis (tungiosis).Called by the tropical sand flea. It is enough to walk barefoot on the beach or lie down to bask in the sun so that the insect can crawl on the body. It hides imperceptibly under the outer layer of the epithelium until the blood is drunk. Then the flea "fills up" and begins to press on the surrounding tissues, causing discomfort. When he dies, he is excreted from the body with dead skin. If this does not happen, tissue breakdown and abscess are possible.
- Dermatobiasis.A South American human submarine injects larvae under human skin. When fully developed, they tear the tissues and leave the body, leaving an open wound. In case of damage to the eyelid and the skin above the cartilage, dangerous health consequences are possible.
- Acariasis.These diseases are caused by ticks. The most famous is scabies, which lives and multiplies under the skin, feeding on its cells. The symptoms of scabies can be easily distinguished from itchy urticaria by filamentous stripes - channels in the epithelium bitten by the female parasite. Another mite, Demodex, causes dermatitis and baldness.
Insects that inhabit the human body most often live in southern countries, as their development requires a stable hot climate. But in some cases it is enough to visit the sea in the summer to fight subcutaneous parasites for several months.
Parasitic roundworms and others
Subcutaneous worms in humans are not difficult to detect. They usually give their location in the same way as other infections - by redness, itching and burning. But in some cases the epithelium is only an intermediate stop and the main development of the pathology continues in the internal organs:
- Heartworm disease.There are several species of these helminths. Some prefer to settle in the internal organs, but there are also those that affect the skin and eyes. The larvae of the parasites are carried by mosquitoes and are found in warm areas. A painful, soft, mobile lump swells at the site of the lesion. It is not dangerous if the infection does not affect the organs of vision. But this requires surgery for treatment.
- Dracunculiasis.The Rishta worm enters the body with water containing small crustaceans that store larvae in their stomachs. Through the intestines, helminths penetrate into the abdominal cavity, where they mate and lay eggs in the muscle tissue in the joints and bones of the legs. When the new worm matures, the larva pierces the skin and comes out. The only way to relieve the burning sensation and pain is to put the limb in water. Other methods of getting rid of the parasite that has settled in the body have not yet been invented.
- Schistosomiasis.Not all worms under human skin get there with food. To become infected with schistosomes, it is enough to swim in the fresh waters of tropical countries in South America, the Caribbean, Africa or Southeast Asia. The skin lesion resembles scabies and is accompanied by tingling. But after a while the larvae make their way deep into the body, after which the epithelial symptoms disappear and the next stage of the disease develops.
- Gnathostomosis.Humans are not natural hosts for this parasite. Therefore, worms cannot reproduce in the body. Therefore, the Asian parasite, entering the body with fish, frogs or undercooked poultry. The larvae begin to migrate after a month. Moving under the skin, they cause itching, redness and pain. The appearance in the abdomen is accompanied by edema.
After the first signs of helminthiasis appear under the skin, the patient should be examined and treatment started. Many parasites can significantly impair health, including damage, if not removed in time.
Given the variety of parasites living under human skin, there is no one-size-fits-all method to help determine the cause of the disease. Also, we must not forget that insects and worms are not the only possible sources of dermatological problems. Allergic reactions, fungal growth and bacterial infections are much more likely to cause hives and dermatitis.
The first stage of the search for parasites on human skin begins with research. The doctor does an examination, examines the affected areas and asks for other symptoms. Thus, he will be able to narrow the search area and in some cases, such as dracunculiasis and heartworm disease, to prescribe treatment immediately.
If the physical examination did not help to fully clarify the picture, laboratory and hardware diagnostic methods are prescribed:
- Blood test.The general analysis reveals the picture of the body's reactions to infection. Thus, the specialist can determine the nature of the disease. When performing biochemistry, it is worth paying attention to the indicators of erythrocyte sedimentation rate and eosinophil content. If they are elevated, it means that helminthiasis is quite likely. ELISA analysis is the most accurate. It will help to determine the presence of antibodies, even the exact type of parasite, if any, is present in the body.
- Stool analysis.Many subcutaneous worms are initially found in the gut. By examining the stool, you can find helminth eggs and begin treatment.
- Biopsy.Analysis of the affected tissues, the contents of purulent abscesses and blisters, swollen lymph nodes can also reveal a picture of the disease.
- Ultrasound, X-ray, CT and MRI.Various hardware methods for "scanning" the body will help to locate the source of infection under the skin and in the internal organs. In some cases, this is the only effective diagnostic method.
Some infections can only be diagnosed after treatment when the parasite is removed under the skin.
Treatment of parasitic diseases
Depending on the type of parasite, doctors must use different methods to get rid of the infection:
- The simplest microorganisms are destroyed with a course of antibiotics. It must be accompanied by symptomatic treatment.
- You can get rid of ticks by using specialized ointments and tablets. At the same time, dermatobiasis can only be cured by surgery by removing the larvae under the skin.
- The method of treatment of helminthiasis directly depends on the type of parasite. So heartworm disease is only treated surgically. Anthelmintics will help get rid of schistosomes and intestinal parasites. And the treatment of dracunculiasis is not provided at all. One has to wait for the worm to leave the body on its own and fight the symptoms: pain and inflammation.
In any case, it is necessary to undergo a full examination by a doctor and start treatment under his guidance to ensure complete elimination of parasites.