Photos and videos of symptoms of subcutaneous parasites in humans are not a pleasant sight. Unlike intestinal helminths, the existence of which a person may not even know, epithelial infections are easy to see. In this case, a person feels constant discomfort due to the symptoms accompanying the lesion. This helps to start diagnosing the disease and start treatment as early as possible. A photo of subcutaneous parasites in humans evokes emotions close to disgust, but the symptoms of infection are much more unpleasant. The picture does not convey the sensations of a person from the realization that someone is crawling along his body. But epithelial infections are not only discomfort, but also a significant danger to the health of the whole organism. The toxins secreted by the parasite's body can affect all organ systems, and the helminths themselves love to spread throughout the human body. So the manifestation of dermatological problems can be a sign of danger to the patient's life due to the presence of helminths in the brain, organs of vision or heart.
What parasites live in the skin?
Dermatological problems can cause a wide variety of infections. If, during intestinal infection, the presence of worms is most often diagnosed, then insects and protozoa can also be found under the skin. Mosquitoes, ticks and other blood-sucking parasites usually feed unnoticed and detach from humans, but there are those that continue to live and reproduce in the body.
Each of these types of infections has its own ways of entering the human body. The symptoms and effects of infection also vary widely. Accordingly, the treatment of the disease will take place in different ways. But in order to distinguish one parasitic infection from another and to 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 even 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 kind is leishmaniasis. It is caused by the simplest parasites, which gave the name to the pathology. 9 out of 10 infections occur in just a few countries:
- Saudi Arabia;
The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and some species of flies. Pathogenic microorganisms do not survive in temperate climates, so you can only become infected with leishmaniasis after resting in hot countries with a tropical climate.
When infected, the infection forms ulcers at the site of insect bites. Over time, it heals and leaves an untidy scar. With multiple foci, leishmaniasis may look like leprosy. The danger of this disease is that it passes from the skin to the lymphatic system and can affect the internal organs, gradually destroying them. At the same time, parasites live inside cells, so immune bodies are of little use for fighting protozoa. But after a single experience of fighting 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:
- Sarcopsillosis (tungiasis).Called by the tropical sand flea. It is enough to walk barefoot on the beach or lie down basking in the sun for the insect to crawl onto the body. It hides imperceptibly under the outer layer of the epithelium until the blood is drunk. Then the flea "gets fat" and begins to press on the surrounding tissues, causing discomfort. When it dies, it is excreted from the body with dead peeling skin. If this does not happen, the tissue may become infected and abscess.
- Dermatobiasis.The South American human gadfly injects larvae under the human skin. When fully developed, they tear tissue and leave the body, leaving an open wound. In case of damage to the eyelid and the skin over the cartilage, health-threatening consequences are possible.
- Acariasis.These diseases are caused by ticks. The most famous is scabies, which lives and reproduces under the skin, feeding on its cells. Symptoms of scabies can be easily distinguished from itchy urticaria by filamentous stripes - channels in the epithelium gnawed by the female parasite. Another mite, Demodex, causes dermatitis and baldness.
Most often, insects that settle in the human body live in southern countries, because their development requires a stable hot climate. But in some cases, it is enough to visit the sea in the summer in order to then fight with subcutaneous parasites for several months.
Parasitic roundworms and more
Subcutaneous worms in humans are not difficult to detect. They usually give away their location in the same way as other infections - through 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:
- Dirofilariasis.There are several types of these helminths. Some prefers to settle in the internal organs, but there are those that affect the skin and eyes. The parasite larvae are carried by mosquitoes and are found in warm regions. A painful, soft, movable lump swells at the site of the lesion. It is not dangerous if the infection does not affect the organs of vision. But it requires surgery for treatment.
- Dracunculiasis.The Rishta worm enters the body with water containing small crustaceans that store larvae in their stomach. Through the intestines, helminths penetrate the abdominal cavity, where they mate and lay eggs in the muscle tissue in the area of the joints and leg bones. When the new worm matures, the larva breaks through the skin and emerges. The only way to relieve the burning sensation and pain is to place 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 the 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, getting into the body with fish, frogs or insufficiently thermally processed bird. 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 helminths life appear under the skin, the patient needs to undergo examination and start treatment. Many parasites can significantly worsen the state of health, including disability, if they are not removed in time.
Given the variety of parasites living under the skin of a person, there is no universal method that would help pinpoint 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 searching for parasites on human skin begins with an examination. The doctor conducts a survey, examines the affected areas, and asks for other symptoms. So he will be able to narrow the search area and in some cases, for example with dracunculiasis and dirofilariasis, immediately prescribe treatment.
If the physical examination did not help to fully clarify the picture, laboratory and hardware diagnostic methods are assigned:
- Blood test.General analysis reveals the picture of the body's reactions to infection. So a specialist can determine the nature of the disease. When carrying out biochemistry, it is worth paying attention to the indicators of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate and the content of eosinophils. If they are elevated, it means helminthiasis is quite likely. ELISA analysis is the most accurate. It will help to determine by the presence of antibodies even the exact type of parasite, if such is present in the body.
- Stool analysis.Many subcutaneous worms are initially based inside the intestines. By examining feces, you can find helminth eggs and begin treatment.
- Biopsy.Analysis of affected tissues, 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 of "scanning" the body will help localize the source of infection under the skin and in 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 from under the skin.
Treatment of parasitic diseases
Depending on the type of parasite, doctors have to use different methods to get rid of the infection:
- The simplest microorganisms are destroyed with a course of antibiotics. It is compulsorily 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, removing the larvae from under the skin.
- The method of treatment for helminthiasis directly depends on the type of parasite. So dirofilariasis is treated only surgically. Antihelmetics will help get rid of schistosomes and intestinal parasites. And the treatment of dracunculiasis is not provided at all. A person 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 begin treatment under his guidance in order to ensure complete elimination of parasites.