A reader wrote to us asking us if there is a type of worm that can get into your skin in Florida. The reader did not specify that she had worms in her skin, but anytime we have a reader with a medical question, we let them know to get the help of a medical professional first.First, we have to say that we are not qualified to speak about medical issues, and if the reader has a medical concern she should seek medical attention. What we can do is provide some suggestions as to the type of worm.
There are a couple of types of worms that can get into your skin. We believe that our reader probably talking about screwworms or guinea worms. Screwworms are white worms that can be found in wounds, cuts, and sores on the skin. Guinea worms are most common in Africa so these are probably not our reader’s concern.
Getting an infection from a screwworm is very rare in the United States because of how well we treat and dress our wounds. There are many different species of screwworms and most of them are in the Cochliomyia hominivorax family. Most of these worms have been eradicated from the United States so it is very unclear to us how she would have gotten infected by screwworms.
Mammals are usually the targets of screwworm infections so it is very important that she does seek the help of a medical professional, if in fact she has a worm infection. Any infection that involves worms is something that needs to be immediately treated by a doctor.
In summary, a reader asked us if there was a type of worm that could get into her skin that lives in Florida. Our best guess is that it is a screwworm, but these worms have been eradicated from the United States.If she does think she has screwworms, or any other type of worm infection, she should seek immediate medical attention, as we are not medical professionals.