A worm that lives in human skin has been photographed by one of our readers, who wonders if we can tell her what kind of worm it is. The worm in question appears to be a pinkish-yellow color and is attached to a long piece of flat, white matter.
Before we get into the bulk of the article, it is important we point out that unfortunately we will not be able to provide an identification of the worm. We know this might be disappointing, but as this situation is purely medical in nature, we are not qualified to identify this sort of worm as to identify the worm would constitute giving a medical diagnosis. Since we are not medical professionals, this is not something we can do. Moreover, what we can say is that similar photos were sent in by another reader and were discussed in a different article. However, just like in this article, we could not provide an identification in that one for the same reason.
So, what can we tell our reader? Well, especially given that we have — presumably — seen this parasite before, which has also been reported to live in the skin, we would treat this situation as an emergency. We urge our reader to consult a medical professional immediately. We always recommend that any of our readers consult their doctors for any health issue, but it should be noted that most doctors do not receive training in parasitism, and thus our reader might walk out of that consultation disappointed, as many of our readers have. For that reason, we strongly recommend going instead to a parasite specialist.
To find one, our reader can Google ‘infectious disease doctor (name of her closest big city)’ or ‘travel disease doctor (name of her closest big city)’. It might also be worth considering taking a sample of the worm with her to the appointment. Likewise, if our reader’s doctor or physician has trouble identifying the worm, she can always take that sample to her local county extension office or to the entomology department at a nearby university to get it identified by people who study this very type of creature. Then, with that identification in mind, her doctor/physician can get a better idea of what diagnosis and treatment to provide.
Furthermore, to be on the safe side, and to save both time and money, our reader might consider going to a county extension office or university to get the worm identified prior to visiting a medical professional (depending on how dire the situation is) so as to speed up the process once she does visit a doctor or physician. Of course, neither the people at a local county extension office, nor the people at a university are medical professionals, so our reader should not take their word for a medical diagnosis either, and should nonetheless visit a medical professional after getting the worm identified. Whatever identification is provided by anyone that is somewhat qualified to identity parasites, but is not a medical professional, should only be taken as a guideline, and not a diagnosis.
In conclusion, we are unable to inform our reader about the identification of this worm for the reason that we are not qualified to do so. We nonetheless hope that this article has been helpful to some extent and that our reader may be rid of these worms soon, so that she can lead a happy and healthy life.