Moving Lump On Woman's Face Was Worm Crawling Inside Skin

A Lump Moving Across a Woman's Face Was a Parasitic Worm Crawling Under Her Skin

A Lump Moving Across a Woman's Face Was a Parasitic Worm Crawling Under Her Skin

Surgery was performed to remove the worm and doctors said she made a full recovery.

Two things you never want to happen to you: finding a worm crawling around in your face; and ending up as a case study in a medical journal because of it.


For two weeks, the woman snapped pictures as the blemish traveled leaving bumps just above her eye as it made its way down her face to her lip, causing her mouth to swell.

This parasite fails to reach maturity in human hosts, but still are able to crawl around, triggering an uncomfortable sensation under their skin. DNA testing subsequently revealed the removed creature to be the parasitic nematode known as Dirofilaria repens.

"She documented these changes by taking photographs of her face (i.e., "selfies")," added Kartashev, who wrote in to describe the case along with parasitologist Fernando Simon of the University of Salamanca in Spain.

The doctor who consulted the Russian Federation woman declared that the parasite "accidentally" infested her. The report states that the woman, who was not named, started showing symptoms after traveling to a rural area not far from Moscow, where she "recalled being frequently bitten by mosquitoes".

A physical exam found a lump that had moved from his arm to the back of his hand, which turned out to be - you guessed it - a massive worm crawling around under his skin. But mosquitoes can pick it up and carry it to people on occasion. First, it was a small bump under her left eye.

As horrifying as this sounds, the treatment is relatively simple: Surgically removing the worm can cure the infection, according to the new report. Dirofilaria repens typically infests dogs and other carnivores and finds itself unable to breed when a human becomes the unlucky host through the bite of a mosquito, typically in parts of Europe and Asia. These thread-like worms naturally infect dogs, cats, foxes and other wild mammals, and typically live in the tissue under the skin, according to a 2011 report of a similar case.

This specific parasite is not found in the U.S., but can be found in Europe. Mosquitoes serve as vectors for this parasite.

File of a previous dirofilaria repens case in a human.

The report details how the woman from Russian Federation became the host of a parasitic worm after being bitten by a mosquito.

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