Parasitic whitish worms have been infesting this man and his fiancée, who ask for our help in identifying them. These “tiny white worms” “burrow through the top layer of the skin” to lay “dark sand-like eggs”, infesting “wounds.”
According to our reader, his fiancée has contacted us before and was told to “bring samples”, but he wanted to contact us again with a clearer description of the situation in case we had heard of “ANYthing like this.” Unfortunately, just as we most likely told our reader’s fiancée in the unspecified article that addressed this same situation, this case is clearly medical in nature, and because of this, we cannot provide an identification of the worms. This is because doing so would be tantamount to giving a diagnosis, and as we are not medical professionals, this is not something we are qualified to do. Nonetheless, we will detail the context our reader did provide, as well as give advice on what our reader and his fiancée can do to resolve this issue.
ATTENTION: GET PARASITE HELP NOW! At All About Worms we get a lot of questions about skin parasites, blood parasites, and intestinal parasites in humans. Because we can't diagnose you, we have put together this list of doctors and labs who understand and specialize in dealing with parasites in humans! That resource is HERE
Let’s start with the context. The worms in question are anywhere from a few millimeters in length, to a few inches. When the white worms first infested our reader’s fiancée, she was turned away at the hospital because the doctors thought her delusional, and our reader admits to thinking along the same lines too as he was away from home. Once returning, our reader also got infested. He has noticed that the worms are difficult to extract as they are “hooked into the skin”. If two of the worms touch, “their tips unite and they bundle up together.” Furthermore, the worms leave behind red “burrow trails”, and sometimes “pepperings of dark eggs which have to be picked off with tweezers.” The worms also infest open sores, living under scabs and laying more eggs there. Our reader’s fiancée is also convinced that the worms are living in the walls around their kitchen sink. He also mentioned that his fiancée works with animals (horses, wolves and dogs) and she thinks this may be the source of the infestation. Specifically, she thinks the parasite may have come from horse hair, moths, beetles or spiders. He states that “bleach seems to kill them off”, but that none of his wounds are healing.
There are several things to point out here. First off, getting turned away at the hospital when you tell them you are infested with parasites is unfortunately a common occurrence. The fact is that most doctors and GPs do not receive training in this field, parasitic infestations, and thus they do not know what to do. Of course, we are not excusing rude behavior, and calling a patient delusional is just rude. Secondly, we cannot advise on the bleach because, again, that would be medical advice, but we strongly urge our reader to consult with a physician before putting such a strong chemical on their skin. Thirdly, we doubt that the parasite came from horse hair, moths, beetles or spiders. In regards to the horse hair, we think our reader’s fiancée is thinking of the horsehair worms and that they come from horse hair, but that is just a myth. And besides, horsehair worms do not infest humans, but are only parasitic to insects. Whether it came from any of the other creatures is perhaps possible if they were ingested, or if they secreted faeces onto one’s skin, but that seems like a rather unlikely coincidence. When it comes to her horses, dogs and wolves, our reader’s fiancée should consider letting a vet have a look at them to see if they are infested with the same parasite. That might give our reader more insight into the origin of the parasite.
Now, what can our reader do then? If his fiancée has not taken samples as recommended, then this is still something we suggest. Samples of the worms can be brought to a local county extension office, the entomology department at a university, or to a physician who specializes in infectious diseases. To find such a physician, our reader can do a Google search for ‘infectious disease specialist (name of closest big city)’ or ‘travel disease doctor (name of closest big city)’. Regardless of where the samples are brought, we urge our reader and his fiancée to seek medical help as soon as possible as this condition sounds very serious. There is probably no use trying a general practice doctor again as they will likely have no idea what these worms are or how to treat them, so an infectious disease physician will be our reader’s best bet. However, bringing a sample to a county extension office or university to get it identified prior to a medical appointment might speed up the process of getting treatment, and is worth considering, depending on how dire the situation is and how quickly our reader and his fiancée need help.
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To conclude, our reader and his fiancée need to seek medical help as soon as possible for their parasite problem. We truly sympathize with our readers and wish we could provide more concrete answers, but alas, it is beyond our capabilities. We wish them the best of luck and hope that this issue be resolved soon.