Barefoot Bother - The Plight Of Parasitic Pests


What is Cutaneous larva migrans?

Cutaneous larva migrans is a particularly nasty parasite that results in an eruption beneath the skin, due to a roundworm infection. The hosts that carry the parasite are usually cats, dogs and other animals. The infection is usually transmitted through the skin of the feet. When we walk barefoot along a beach or in an open park green space, it's possible to contract the disease via animal faeces. As spontaneous human beings, we don't think twice about running barefoot especially when we are footloose and fancy free, enjoying a day out or a summer holiday abroad. Nonetheless, maybe we won't be so quick to gallivant across a warm sandy stretch when we consider the consequences of an outbreak of this kind. Roundworm, (aka hookworm) is an ugly manifestation as is clearly demonstrated here.

Parasitic plague

A forty-two year old male patient, presented himself to a doctor complaining of a one month long irritating rash on his right foot. The man reported that he had holidayed in Nigeria and the snake-like rash had appeared shortly afterwards. The doctor found it was synonymous with a hookworm infection or "creeping eruption", that is typical when cutaneous larva migrans is present. The man was given a course of albendazole and after a two week period the ugly rash completely vanished. Luckily for him, this parasite could not break the epidermis and continue to grow elsewhere, simply because it isn't strong enough to penetrate the tough membrane beneath. While it's safe to say this parasite doesn't cause any real damage apart from angry red itchy blotches, it's disturbing to think an innocent stroll can turn into such a curious catastrophe.

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