A 42 year old man just had his foot go viral. That’s because he noticed something strange in it and went to see his doctor. The doctor took one look at his foot and told him that what the man was concerned about was simply a varicose vein. Varicose veins are just vein that are enlarged and bulge from the skin in a strange way.
There’s no real health risk associated with varicose veins, but cosmetic companies make millions selling “solutions” to these bulging veins, as people seem to think that having a large vein on your foot or leg is detrimental to your entire appearance. The man went home and was satisfied with his doctor’s conclusion.
That is, until a few days later when he noticed the vein had moved… He went to get a second opinion and discovered that the “vein” was actually a parasite called cutaneous larva migrans. In layman’s terms: he had a worm in his foot. A simple drug was enough to kill off the parasite, but the man now knows its story.
It’s a fairly common parasite, associated with animal waste that people accidentally come into contact with. This usually happens while people are enjoying spending a day walking about barefoot on a beach.
What is Cutanteous Larva Migrans?
Cutaneous larva migrans is the most common skin disease among people who return from travelling in hot countries.
It typically affects people in their feet, back, bottom, stomach or thighs.
It is also known as creeping eruption as once infected, the larvae migrate under the skin’s surface and cause itchy red lines or tracks.
As the migrans are self-limiting, the hookworm larvae eventually die in the body within 4-8 weeks.
According to the doctors at Peking Union Medical College, in Beijing, the parasite is typically found in the intestines of animals.
It causes an infection called cutaneous larva migrans where the parasite worms their way in by laying their eggs in the feces of their hosts.
Don’t let that dissuade you from enjoying your summer, though! As stated above, the parasite is very easy to deal with, but more importantly, it’s easy to avoid. Wear flip flops when you’re spending your day outdoors, and if you ever see someone not cleaning up after their pet, be sure to show them the picture of this man’s foot.