“I’ve been battling this skin and hair parasite for three years now and no one knows anything,” states this reader in her query to us. “What is it?” she asks, concerning the crusty, dark-red substance on her fingernail below.
To begin with, we must make it clear that we will unfortunately not be able to answer our reader’s question. As she has explicitly stated that she is dealing with parasites, which are a medical issue, we cannot identity such creatures. Doing so would be tantamount to giving a medical diagnosis, and since we are not medical professionals, this is not something we are qualified to do. What we can do is list some resources our reader can consult in order to seek the opinion of a medical professional: they will be far better equipped to diagnose and treat her problem.
Now, while it is generally a good idea to visit one’s GP when one is suffering from a medical condition, when it comes to parasites we tend to instead recommend that our readers seeks out a parasite specialist. This is because GPs (and ER doctors) are generally not educated in parasitology, and are thus not equipped to deal with these type of problems. So, with that in mind, what we can recommend is that our reader do one or more of the following: 1) Search for a medical parasitologist in her area using this directory of medical parasitology consultants: https://www.astmh.org/for-astmh-members/clinical-consultants-directory. 2) Search for a local parasitologist by doing a Google search for “medical parasitologist (name of the closest big city)” or “tropical medicine specialist (name of the closest big city)”. 3) Get in touch with Dr. Omar Amin at the Parasitology Center at https://www.parasitetesting.com. 4) Contact Dr. Vipul Savaliya of Infectious Disease Care (“IDCare”) at idcarepa.com.
It should be noted that the two physicians mentioned specifically are able to consult patients online, so our reader needs not visit their offices in person. Either way, whichever option our reader decides to go for, we advise that she shows these same photos to her physician, as well as any other photos she may have in her possession. Likewise, if she ends up having an in-person consultation, we also recommend that she brings samples of the organisms, as well as samples of the hair we see in the photo below, so that the physician can get as much material as possible to analyse.
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To conclude, we are not qualified to identify the organisms that have been plaguing our reader for three years. Nonetheless, we hope that the information we did provide in this article comes to use, and that our reader gets the help she needs as soon as possible. We wish her the best of luck and welcome any and all updates she can provide along her journey to a healthy self!