A man infested with a parasite in Crystal Springs, Florida has reached out to us with photos of marks all over his body. He asks if scabies can infest “most of your body”, implying that that is what he thinks this parasite may be, but also asks if there is a similar parasite that does this.
First of all, we want to give our readers a quick warning for images of potential parasite bites on the body. Secondly, we need to point out that we will not be able to give a concrete answer to what parasite is infecting our reader. This is because providing an identification would be the same as providing a diagnosis, and as we are not medical professionals, this is not something we are qualified to do. So, any information detailed in this article in relation to scabies and parasites that infect the entire body should not be taken as a diagnosis of our reader’s problem. That being said, we can give our reader some pointers in terms of where he can go for professional medical help.
Naturally, he can visit his doctor, though it does occur that people infected with parasites are turned away by their doctors because they have not received any training in this field and are not capable of diagnosis or treating these kinds of problems (though if it is scabies, this is a relatively common problem that a doctor should be able to help with). Therefore, we tend to suggest to our readers that they instead consult a parasite specialist. To find one, simply do a Google search of ‘infectious disease physician (name of closest big city)’ or ‘travel disease doctor (name of closest big city)’.
Further to this, if our reader were to get hold of any samples of the parasite that is plaguing him (though it is unlikely if it is scabies), then he could bring some to his local county extension office or to the entomology department at a nearby university. At these places, our reader could get a qualified opinion prior to a consultation with a medical professional, as that might speed up the process of getting a real diagnosis and the treatment he requires.
Now, to answer our reader’s question, yes, scabies can and do infect most of the body. Scabies are parasitic mites that live under the skin and create marks with their bites. They are contagious, and can be spread through physical contact and the sharing of towels, blankets, clothing, and other textile materials. Scabies usually starts between the fingers on one’s hands, and the marks are characterized by a red dot followed by a thin white trail of raised skin. After that, marks will start to appear all over the body from the scabies’ bites. Of course, just like a mosquito bite, scabies’ bites will look and itch worse and itch more if one scratches the bites. That is not to say that is definitely what our reader has, and either way, we would not be able to claim or promise that given that we are not medical professionals. And, as previously stated, our reader should also not take any of this as medical advice.
In conclusion, it is true that scabies can infect the entire body, but our reader should nonetheless consult a medical professional to get an informed opinion and proper treatment for whatever it is that he is infected with. We hope that he receives treatment soon and we wish him well.