We recently heard from a reader in distress. She wrote, “Would you please be so kind as to help me identify this (apparent) parasitic worm for me? I’ve searched everywhere I can find, from human parasites to worms of any sort, but can find absolutely nothing that remotely resembles it. And since no one in the medical field has any idea, treatment cannot proceed.” She sent us several photos of the infected area, which is her chin. She explained that the first photos show the head, body, and tail of one worm, and then two mature adult worms:
Although she has thoughtfully labeled the photos with the parts of the worm, we don’t actually see the worm. This may be because it is under her skin and/or not visible to the unaided eye. She also noted, “the length of it is not clear nor is the body easily distinguishable, as it appears to twist and turn along its path.”
She believes she is dealing with both juveniles and fully mature adults. She wrote, “when it comes to be a fully mature adult, the worm is no longer positioned as an anchor of sorts. It is rather sharp, with each segment expelling a clear fluid when depressed with pressure. Beneath the outer ‘shell’ there is another layer with a semi-fuzzy look and feel.”
Our reader is clearly dealing with a daunting problem. We wish we could be of more help to her, but unfortunately there isn’t much we can do for our reader. We aren’t familiar with any parasitic worms that seem similar to those she is dealing with. In addition, since we aren’t medical professionals, we aren’t licensed to give medical advice. We know that our reader already visited a doctor and left without answers, so we recommend that she instead visit a travel infectious disease specialist. These doctors are typically more familiar with diagnosing and treating unusual cases. To find a specialist she can do an Internet search for “travel infectious disease specialist [her location or nearest big city]”.
To wrap up, today we responded to a reader who believes she is dealing with a parasite infection. We wish her the best of luck solving this mystery and hope she is able to return to good health.