Migrating bump on woman's face turned out to be a worm

23 June, 2018, 19:26 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • A Lump Moving Across a Woman's Face Was a Parasitic Worm Crawling Under Her Skin

The lump started under her eye but then crawled above her eye five days later.

A woman who went to an ophthalmologist complaining of lumps that were appearing and disappearing in various places on her face received a surprising and somewhat horrifying diagnosis.

A further 10 days later, it had moved again, this time puffing up the left side of her upper lip.

"She documented these changes by taking photographs of her face (i.e., "selfies")," added Kartashev, who wrote in to describe the case along with parasitologist Fernando Simon of the University of Salamanca in Spain.

All this while, the 32-year-old patient felt an itching and burning sensation.

The woman first noticed the lump under her left eye.

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Her condition began with a small, barely-visible bump between her left eye and her nose, a case study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows. According to the report, the parasite can be found in dogs and other carnivores. However, luckily, these worms can nearly never reproduce in humans, and all symptoms usually disappear quickly if the worm is removed - so if you've noticed any unusual lumps moving around your body after a mosquito bite, you should probably get to a doctor. It's transmitted via mosquitoes, which is how it gets into humans, but human infection is accidental. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dirofilaria repens is a type of long, thin parasitic roundworm that enters through mosquito bites.

Thankfully, the treatment was simple - the doctors removed the worm surgically, and the woman made a full recovery.

A 2015 study in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases found records of 1,272 cases of infection in Russian Federation and Belarus between January 1997 and June 2013. Between 1997 and 2012 the number of recorded cases increased from eight to over 200 per year, and people are being infected at higher and higher latitudes.

What a woman thought was a lump on her face that mysteriously moved around from one part of her face to the other and occasionally itched, turned out to be something right out of a nightmare. Some patients reported "a feeling of "crawling" under the skin", that 2014 study said.

We've all heard the urban legend about the woman with the spiders living in her face, but we've always been able to comfort ourselves with its falseness.

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