A 42-year-old unnamed man went to his local doctor complaining of a raised, red line developing on his foot. At first, doctors stated that he had developed a varicose vein and it is easy to see why.
Varicose veinsdevelop when valves, that control the direction of blood flow in the vein, become week. This causes blood to pool and veins to swell. Swollen veins are easier to see and will protrude from the skin slightly just like in the picture above. However, they tend to stay in the same place and they rarely ever move.
This man’s varicose vein was moving. It showed growth every day and would sometimes even move 2 centimeters. Doctors took another look and found out he had a type of hook worm living in his skin. The worm is called cutaneous larva migrans and invades the human body when it comes into contact with animal fecal matter. The man had taken a barefoot walk on the beach in Nigeria and most likely, picked up the worm at that time.
Foot after worm removal. Image Credit
Luckily for him, the worm was removed successfully and the man did not show any more signs of infestation. Doctors stated that this specific hookworm was unable to break completely through the skin which made treatment much easier.
We have talked about worm infestations before. They can enter the body with the food we eat and the things we touch. Although this may seem like a third-world problem, infection is more common than one may think.
According to the CDC, millions of Americans have parasitic infections that often go ignored or misdiagnosed. Stool samples or blood tests are needed to determine if a parasite is present and which one it is.
Chagas Disease – Trypanosoma Cruzi ParasiteCysticercosis – Taenia Solium TapewormToxocara – Common Roundworms
Although most parasites are awful and disgusting, research suggests some parasites might actually be good for us.