Subcutaneous Worms In Humans: Symptoms And Photos, Treatment, Worms Under The Skin In Cats And Dogs

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Subcutaneous Worms In Humans: Symptoms And Photos, Treatment, Worms Under The Skin In Cats And Dogs
Subcutaneous Worms In Humans: Symptoms And Photos, Treatment, Worms Under The Skin In Cats And Dogs
Video: Subcutaneous Worms In Humans: Symptoms And Photos, Treatment, Worms Under The Skin In Cats And Dogs
Video: 20 cm Long Worm In The Human Eye, First Ever Recorded On Video | India Video 2023, February

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  • Varieties of subcutaneous parasites and methods of infection
  • Symptoms of dirofilariasis
  • Symptoms of filariasis
  • Onchocerciasis
  • Dipetalonematosis
  • Mansonellosis
  • Symptoms of cysticercosis
  • Symptoms of schistosomiasis
  • Dracunculiasis symptoms
  • Diagnosis of subcutaneous pests
  • Preventive measures
  • How to get rid of subcutaneous parasites?

    • Superficial treatment
    • Medicines
    • Surgical methods
  • Subcutaneous worms in dogs: general information

    • Subcutaneous form of dirofilariasis
    • Infection routes
    • Symptoms of subcutaneous helminthiasis
  • You can defeat parasites!

There are several parasites that can inhabit human skin. For the first time such worms were found in India, but now they are found in our latitudes. Subcutaneous worms cause a lot of discomfort to a person and require treatment.

They are not as dangerous as worms in other organs, but with a long course of the disease they can lead to serious complications. In our article, we will list all types of subcutaneous parasites, the symptoms of the diseases that they provoke.

What to do in such a situation? To get started, we recommend reading this article. This article details the methods of dealing with parasites. We also recommend contacting a specialist. Read the article >>>

Varieties of subcutaneous parasites and methods of infection

If you want to know who is crawling under the skin, then the following subcutaneous worms are found in people:

Dirofilariasis. This ailment provokes the larval stage of the nematode. Infection occurs when a mosquito (louse, flea or tick) bites, which is a carrier of the disease. A sexually mature individual reaches a length of 30 cm, and the larva of this parasite is microscopic. After infection, it develops under the human skin for 3 months. Domestic cats and dogs can also transmit the infection


If we list what parasites live under the skin, then we cannot fail to mention filariae. Infection is caused by certain types of nematodes. In this case, various diseases arise: onchocerciasis, dipetalonematosis, loiasis and mansonellosis. Carriers of worms and their intermediate hosts are insects (mosquitoes, midges, horseflies, etc.). It is they who infect human filarias with larvae, as a result of which worms appear in the skin

What is cutaneous filariasis
What is cutaneous filariasis

Another skin parasite in humans is the cysticercus larvae. They provoke cysticercosis. The invasion occurs through the intestines, where worms penetrate with dirty hands, water or food. Cysticercus is an oval vesicle containing the parasite's scolex inside. Subcutaneous worms can vary from round to fusiform. Man acts as an intermediate master

Cysticercus larvae
Cysticercus larvae

Schistosomiasis is a disease that is provoked by worms in a person from the order of trematodes. These are fluke worms up to 2 cm long. The larvae of this parasite, which can swim in water, are cercariae. They can penetrate the human body directly through the skin. This infection can live in any organ, including under the skin


Rishta is another worm under the skin. These white worms cause dracunculiasis and are classified as large nematodes. Their intermediate hosts are water-dwelling copepods. First, the parasite enters the human stomach, and then from the retroperitoneal space it penetrates under the skin. Males reach a length of 10 cm, and females - 120 cm

Guinea worm
Guinea worm

Symptoms of dirofilariasis

The larvae of this parasite with the bloodstream can spread throughout the body and settle in the eyes, pulmonary artery, heart, serous cavities, peri-renal fatty tissue and under the skin.

If there is an invasion by a type of worm called Dirofilaria repens, the conjunctiva or subcutaneous fat is affected.

The signs and symptoms of this disease are as follows:

  • painful seals appear at the site of the insect bite;
  • within a couple of days in a third of patients, there is a displacement of the seal by 20-30 cm from the site of the bite;
  • a person may feel distension, burning and itching at the site of the bite;
  • there is a feeling of crawling and stirring under the skin;
  • periods of remission are followed by episodes of exacerbation;
  • the subcutaneous worm provokes the appearance of abscesses and boils (a worm lives inside them in the connecting capsule);
  • sometimes the abscesses break open themselves, and the white parasites come out of the skin.

Symptoms of filariasis

After invasion, filariasis can develop over several years. Depending on the form of the disease, various symptoms and signs can develop.

Common to these parasitic diseases will be the appearance of ulcers and skin rashes, damage to the eyes and lymph nodes, fever, the development of elephantiasis of the scrotum and limbs, since these are muscle parasites.


With onchocerciasis, parasites in human muscles manifest themselves with the following symptoms:

  • itchy skin;
  • feverish condition;
  • weakness;
  • dryness and peeling of the skin;
  • cutaneous hyperpigmentation (genitals, legs, axillary and inguinal folds);
  • papular rash;
  • erysipelas;
  • papules can form long-lasting ulcers;
  • under the skin, worms provoke atrophy of hair follicles, sweat glands and epidermis;
  • painful fibrous nodes form under the skin;
  • with eye damage, glaucoma, iridocyclitis, conjunctivitis, corneal cyst, keratitis and other eye diseases develop.


These subcutaneous worms in humans provoke the following symptoms:

  • enlarged lymph nodes;
  • erythematous or maculopapular rash;
  • dizziness;
  • fever;
  • swelling of the lower extremities, face and genitals;
  • joint pain;
  • pain in the heart;
  • symptoms of meningoencephalitis.


With this form of the disease, worms under the human skin can provoke the following complex of symptoms:

  • itchy rashes;
  • joint pain;
  • feverish condition;
  • swelling of the skin;
  • dropsy of the testicle;
  • numbness of the limbs;
  • an increase in the inguinal lymph nodes.

Symptoms of cysticercosis

These parasites on human skin can easily penetrate with food into the digestive tract, where the embryo membrane dissolves and the larva emerges. They enter the bloodstream and are carried throughout the body.

After settling in certain organs, the larvae turn into cysticercus and provoke the following symptoms:

  • under the skin, multiple or single tumor-like painless oval formations appear (usually they are localized on the inner side of the shoulders, at the top of the chest and on the palms);
  • in the seals, you can feel the cavity;
  • over time, these seals grow;
  • new formations appear;
  • when conducting a histology of education, a cysticercus can be found inside;
  • hives;
  • rarely, the nodes fester, but more often they do not change for many years and occasionally resolve themselves.
Symptoms of cysticercosis
Symptoms of cysticercosis

Symptoms of schistosomiasis

Schistosome larvae directly from the aquatic environment can penetrate the human skin. Within a few hours, they can be in the bloodstream.

With skin invasion, the following symptoms appear:

  • hives;
  • severe itching;
  • every other day there are spotty rashes.

Then a period of calm ensues for several weeks. In the circulatory system, schistosomes reach the stage of sexually mature individuals and migrate into the vasculature of the genitourinary system.

After a couple of months, the patient develops the following symptoms:

  • dry cough;
  • feverish condition;
  • hives;
  • heavy sweating at night;
  • enlarged liver;
  • vaginal bleeding;
  • blood in the urine;
  • pathology of the prostate, kidneys and bladder;
  • nodes on the genitals;
  • infertility.
Symptoms of schistosomiasis
Symptoms of schistosomiasis

Dracunculiasis symptoms

If a person drinks water that contains infected copepods, then after their death, helminth larvae are released in the patient's digestive system.

They penetrate the retroperitoneal space and migrate through the lymphatic system into soft tissues. Only after 3 months, the female of this parasite can invade the skin or connective tissues for further development.

As the female grows, the patient develops the characteristic symptoms of the disease:

  • an allergic reaction to infection appears only after 10-14 months in the form of urticaria, fainting, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and suffocation;
  • a year later, a rishtosis bladder appears on the skin (its diameter reaches 2-7 cm, but there are no signs of inflammation);
  • you can see a helminth in the bladder;
  • after a few days, the bubble itself opens and the necrotic masses are rejected;
  • at autopsy, the patient feels a burning sensation and sharp pains.
Guinea worm
Guinea worm

Diagnosis of subcutaneous pests

In most cases, the diagnosis of the affected skin is carried out directly in the office of a specialist, who, upon visual examination, can already determine the disease. But to accurately identify the cause and associated lesions of internal organs, the patient is prescribed a comprehensive medical examination.

Firstly, it is necessary to clarify all lesions, and secondly, in this way it is possible to find foci of accumulations of parasites (if any) and approximately determine their number.

If you find unpleasant symptoms in the form of a rash, itching and other changes, you should contact such specialists as:

  • dermatologist;
  • allergist;
  • neuropathologist;
  • medical psychologist;
  • infectious disease specialist.

A comprehensive examination includes a visit to a neurologist and a medical psychologist, since itching and rash are often a simple psychological disorder. But such visits are due only to the lack of an accurate diagnosis, which was not made after examination by the local doctor.

In identifying the type of disease, laboratory diagnostics of the patient is especially important, which will accurately show the presence of parasites under the skin or in internal organs.

Such a survey includes two stages:

  1. Direct diagnosis of parasites - a scraping or smear of mucous membranes is used to study changes. The direct method is used in case of an obvious manifestation of the presence of parasites: skin redness, blisters, purulent acne.
  2. The second stage involves the study of blood for the presence of antigen-antibody complexes, which exactly determines the immune response to the fight against parasites in the human body. As a rule, the discarded elements of the vital activity of parasites almost completely kill the protective antibodies, as a result of which the weakened immunity of the body is unable to overcome the invasion and activity of uninvited guests.

For the appointment of treatment, it is necessary to accurately identify the type of parasite that has penetrated the human body.

Diagnosis of toxoplasmosis
Diagnosis of toxoplasmosis

Here, hair, blood, nails, feces, the contents of blisters on the skin and other important biological materials are often taken for analysis along with a skin scraping or a smear of mucous membrane.

It is impossible to tell exactly about the treatment of parasites under the skin. Here an important role is played by their localization, area and stage of the lesion.

Only the following techniques can be cited as general information:

  1. Subcutaneous mites must be removed using medications based on the elimination of all types of parasites in the body. Here, experts often prescribe acaricidal agents, such as Trichopolum, as well as antihistamines. As an external application, antibiotic ointments and gels, as well as vasoconstrictor drugs, for example, an aqueous adrenaline-resorcinol solution, are effective remedies. The instructions for use and the treatment regimen will be explained by the doctor depending on the stage of the lesion.
  2. Dracunculiasis is subject to surgical intervention. Including all kinds of worms that have spread under the skin of a person or have already hit the internal organs. The danger of such lesions is the spread of parasites in the internal organs, which often causes the brain to suffer. That is why the patient needs to undergo a complete comprehensive examination to find out the localization of worms.

The general principle of removing parasites from the body occurs in two ways - a conservative method and surgical intervention.

It is not recommended to use alternative methods in the case of the treatment of subcutaneous parasites, since it will take a long time, and the damage to the body can already be serious and have consequences for the patient's later life.

Preventive measures

Of course, it is advisable to prevent any disease, than to engage in long-term and not always effective treatment. This issue is especially acute for the prevention of subcutaneous parasites.

No one today is immune from the danger of pathogenic microorganisms entering the body, nevertheless, there are some rules that will allow you to maximally protect yourself.

  • It is necessary to wash your hands not only before eating, but also after returning home from the street. It is especially important to do this every time there is contact with public goods.
  • All personal hygiene products, as well as cosmetics, are purely individual items. In no case should you allow your lipstick or creams to be used, as they may contain parasite eggs.
  • Do not put on other people's things, as their true owner may be infected with parasites.
  • It is important to always wash vegetables and fruits before eating, and do not drink tap water.
  • Wounds on the skin should be treated immediately with an antiseptic, so as not to make this place attractive to insects.

There are different types of subcutaneous parasites in humans, which can not only cause discomfort, but also infect dangerous diseases. It is important to carry out preventive measures and immediately consult a doctor if an infection is suspected.

How to get rid of subcutaneous parasites?

The fight against helminths developing under the skin is based on the use of superficial and drug methods, as well as surgical operations.

Superficial treatment

Superficial methods are used to combat worms that live in the epidermis (for example, scabies and demodicosis).

Medicines such as Spregal, Permethrin, Monosulfiram, Malathion are rubbed into the skin with scabies. These medicines are rubbed all over the body at night. The course lasts 2 weeks. Persons who have been in contact with an infected person are advised to carry out the same procedures.

Application during pregnancy
Application during pregnancy

With demodicosis, suspensions, ointments, solutions, gels, scrubs, cryotherapy are used, which reduce the secretion of sebum, deprive food and reduce the negative effects of the parasite.

With other types of helminths, external manifestations are removed with the help of ointments with steroids and antibiotics.

All ointments specially selected by doctors relieve inflammation, deprive parasites of motor activity and kill them.

Local procedures must be applied in moderation, avoiding damage to the skin, so as not to disturb the acid-base balance, and to exclude the attachment of pathogenic microbes to the pathology.


For each type of helminth, its own medicine is applied, which is prescribed by a doctor, in accordance with the stage of the disease.

Some drugs completely kill parasites, while others immobilize them and prevent reproduction.

When the helminth dies, a person may experience signs of intoxication - headache, nausea, vomiting, so the drugs are carefully selected. It is allowed to take Enteroseptol, Atoxil, activated carbon.

The main diseases are necessarily treated with pathologies from other organs. Symptomatic therapy is used.

Surgical methods

Intervention by surgeons is necessary to remove the parasite through the incision.

The operation takes place as usual under local anesthesia. A surgeon needs to be a virtuoso and a master of his craft, so that when removing a helminth, pull it out completely, without dividing it into parts.

Rehabilitation methods after surgery include therapy with antibacterial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as antiparasitic drugs.

Subcutaneous worms in dogs: general information

To begin with, there are no “specialized” canine worms living directly under the skin. Fortunately, our climate does not favor them. All subcutaneous parasites are either an uncharacteristic form of "ordinary" helminthic pathologies, or "lost" parasite larvae at the stage of migration.

However, some parasitologists (not only veterinary, but also medical) are inclined to believe that some types of parasites, until now found only in Southeast Asia and India, can eventually expand their habitat. We can only hope that this will not happen soon.

Subcutaneous form of dirofilariasis

The disease is caused by the parasite Dirofilaria repens. Under normal conditions, worms of this type parasitize … directly in the chambers of the heart, as well as large blood vessels, especially preferring the pulmonary and coronary arteries. There they feed on both blood and vascular membranes.

Subcutaneous form of dirofilariasis
Subcutaneous form of dirofilariasis

Infection routes

But how can such specialized helminths get into a completely unusual environment for them? It's all about their life cycle, on some features of which it is necessary to dwell separately:

  • There is no other way of infection except through the bite of blood-sucking insects (mosquitoes or mosquitoes). The larvae of the parasite for several days live in the body of bloodsuckers, ripening to the required stage. They enter the mouth apparatus of mosquitoes when an insect bites a sick animal, in whose blood larvae (microfilariae) of the first stage of development have appeared.
  • When a mosquito bites a healthy dog, the larvae, hypothetically, go to the heart and large vessels, where they remain in the future. The problem is that not all parasites cope with the blood flow, which is why they can end up in any organ of the animal, including under the skin.

If the larva is unlucky, and it really is "locked" in the subcutaneous tissue, the development cycle changes somewhat. The growth of the parasite slows down somewhat (in comparison with individuals in the heart), this process takes about three months. Note that adult parasites do not go beyond the subcutaneous fatty tissue.

They grow to sexual maturity approximately nine months after infection. Note that in the subcutaneous form, the body length extremely rarely reaches seven or more centimeters, while females rarely grow even up to five centimeters. The movement of parasites under the skin hurts the dog, and worms contribute to frequent inflammatory reactions and the development of allergies.

Infection routes
Infection routes

The larvae secreted by adult females into the blood can no longer harm the animal. Even if they end up in the heart at least dozens of times a day, young parasites need a mosquito or a mosquito for further development. In the blood of a dog, microfilariae can live for about two years, after which they die.

Symptoms of subcutaneous helminthiasis

However, everything is not always so bad. Very often the sick dog has no symptoms at all, or is too weak for the breeder to notice. But still, more often the clinical picture is quite clear, but not too specific, which makes it difficult to attribute its manifestations to signs of helminthiasis:

  • Lumpy nodular dermatitis. In this case, some areas of the dog's skin (most often on the face) are covered with small and dense nodules, and the tissues around them slightly swell and thicken. As a rule, there is no itching.
  • The formation of skin papules. As in the past, nodules form on the pet's skin, but there is a cloudy liquid inside them. In addition, there is no swelling and seals near the papules themselves, but there is severe itching, because of which the dog loses rest, and sometimes scratches his skin almost to the point of meat.
  • Sudden baldness. It also does not develop over the entire surface of the animal's skin, but affects only some of its parts. It is often accompanied by itching, which is why the dog itches constantly and even gnaws at itself. All this leads to the introduction of pathogenic and conditionally pathogenic microflora into the surface layers of the skin, which contributes to the development of rather serious inflammations.
  • Other types of dermatitis. Since the worms constantly move in the subcutaneous tissue, feed on and excrete a large amount of their waste products, the dog's body reacts accordingly. If there are many parasites, large areas of the skin can become inflamed; in the most severe cases, the inflammation covers almost the entire body of the dog.

In advanced cases, the pathology is also accompanied by intense intoxication of the dog's body. Things get really bad when there are really a lot of worms in the dog's subcutaneous tissue. Cases are described when more than three hundred (!) Parasites were found during the autopsy. Since they all need to eat, the pet's body has a hard time.

The animal drinks a lot, but at the same time refuses to eat, becomes lethargic and extremely apathetic. The worst is the liver and kidneys of the dog, through which its body tries to remove toxins. Unfortunately, it is easy to find out about this, as the urine becomes dark red, and it can smell very unpleasant.

In the most severe cases, the skin and all visible mucous membranes turn noticeably yellow. This happens when parasite toxins have contributed to severe liver damage.

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