Parasites living under human skin

subcutaneous parasite in humans

There are a number of protozoa that can only exist in the host's body. For most of them, the main vector is man. And having penetrated into the human body, these creatures can live anywhere, but subcutaneous parasites are considered the most common. It is they who deliver the most unpleasant moments, including the development of complications, and therefore, at the first signs of infection, it is necessary to consult a doctor.

Types of parasites that live under the skin

The simplest ones, where the main carrier is a person, are divided into two main groups:

  1. Dermal
  2. Subcutaneous.

The first includes such insects as: lice, fleas, bed bugs. They live in the hair and on the skin of a person, feed on his blood and are capable of transmitting various dangerous diseases. But still, cutaneous parasites are considered less dangerous than subcutaneous ones. The latter, living in human skin, not only feed on its cells, but also raise their offspring inside. Therefore, it is much more difficult to treat skin parasites in humans than skin parasites.

Many protozoa and helminths live under human skin, which can lead to the development of various types of diseases, such as:

  • Filariasis
  • Dracunculiasis
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Hookworm
  • Cysticercosis
  • Scabies.

And the most unpleasant thing about this is that it is often very difficult to make a correct diagnosis, since the symptoms of these diseases often resemble a normal allergic reaction. Therefore, it takes a long time to treat dermatoses.

To get an idea of what subcutaneous parasites a person may have and how they manifest, consider the signs of infection with each of the above.


This species does not live in our country, but it is easy for them to become infected when visiting Africa, South America and Asia. Infection occurs when a person is bitten by a blood-sucking insect, such as a mosquito. As for the incubation period, in this type of dermatoses it can reach 7 years.

hives as a symptom of subcutaneous parasites

The first symptoms of this parasitic skin disease are often mild fever and hives, and are often ignored.

And only after a few years on the skin begin to appear:

  • ulcers
  • warts
  • lumps
  • papules.

Over time, eczema can develop. In some cases, they may be accompanied by mild malaise, headache, fever, which makes it possible to conclude that the patient has contracted filariasis. This disease is caused by filamentous nematodes.

But if measures are not taken in time, parasitic skin diseases can lead to complications in the form of arthrosis and vision problems.

Using mosquito repellents will help avoid infection. By treating open areas of the skin with and thereby protecting yourself from the bites of blood-sucking insects, you will protect yourself from filariasis infection.


This disease is caused by round subcutaneous helminths - Guinea worms. Adults of these parasites living under human skin can reach a length of more than a meter. A feature of this species is that not only a person can serve as its carrier, but also pets: cats, dogs. These parasites are most commonly found in Central Asia.

Guinea worm parasitic subcutaneous worm

Guinea worm larvae enter the human body by eating untreated raw water. After 2 weeks they begin their journey through the wearer's body and after 1. 5 months they enter the subcutaneous regions. The larva will only become an adult after a year.

Symptoms of rishta infection are difficult to confuse with another disease. Initially, an elongated swollen area appears on the skin on the legs, resembling a small lace. Then a bubble forms in its place, inside which are the eggs of the helminth. And when the water enters, it bursts, allowing new larvae to enter the environment.

If you do not start treatment of the disease in time, complications appear in the form of:

  • Joint inflammation
  • Gangrene
  • Sepsis, which is caused by abscesses formed on the skin.

As for the fight against this human cutaneous parasite, it consists in its elimination from the cutaneous tissues. In addition, this process can take several days if a large parasitic individual enters the patient's body. The only condition is not to break the worm.

To avoid Guinea worm infection, you should drink only disinfected water and not swim in open water.


This disease is also caused by helminths. They live in the waters of Asia and Africa, so swimming in them puts you at risk of getting infected. This variety of helminths parasitizes not only human skin, but also genitourinary organs. At the initial stage of development, the disease is manifested by rashes, itching, dermatitis. In the future, signs of kidney damage appear, and the liver may increase.

This disease is treated with antimony drugs. But it is better to avoid infection by observing simple rules: refuse to bathe in stagnant water and use only boiled water.


These parasites enter under the skin through cracks in the soles of the feet or wounds on other parts of the body. But most often they still affect the lower extremities and remain there without migrating through the body.

Hookworm infection results in the following symptoms:

  • severe itching in the place where the parasite is located;
  • change in the skin;
  • the onset of anemia.

The most unpleasant thing about the infection is the fact that this disease is treated quite difficult, and it is not always possible to get a positive result.


Tapeworm larvae can also parasitize under human skin. The main habitats of these parasites in the human body are the internal organs, where they penetrate with food or water infected with helminths. But still, cases of their development under the skin are not uncommon, and they can live there for years.

Symptoms of infection with cysticercosis are swelling and neoplasms where the parasite entered. Over time, they thicken. In rare cases, the infection may be accompanied by hives.

neoplasms in the habitat of the subcutaneous parasite

The only way to get rid of it is surgery in the complex and taking antiparasitic drugs.


Today, this disease is quite rare, but literally 50 years ago it was one of the most common among those caused by parasites. Its appearance is caused by the penetration under the skin of a person with a microscopic size of a scabies mite. In addition, he prefers to settle in the deep layers of the skin, where he feeds on the epithelium and lays eggs there.

The life cycle of an adult does not exceed two months. But during this time, the female manages to lay more than a dozen eggs. Most often the tick affects the hands, folds, armpits, soles of the feet. But it can also be found on the mammary glands and genitals.

scabies on the hand with a subcutaneous tick

Infection with this parasite leads to the development of scabies, which are determined by obvious signs, such as clearly visible passages, crusts in places of scratching, rashes, itching, which intensify at night. With untimely treatment, scabies can lead to the development of dermatitis and eczema, which worsen in the autumn periods.

Such a disease is treated with sulfuric ointment or hydrochloric acid solution and the use of sulfuric soap. For extensive lesions, antibiotics may be prescribed. But in order to avoid re-infection, it is necessary to boil the laundry and clothes of the patient and iron them with a hot iron on both sides. Therefore, it is easier to observe personal hygiene and avoid contact with infected people - this will help not to get sick.

Identification and diagnosis of subcutaneous parasites

Most often, you can visually determine whether a person is infected or not. However, in any case, the patient will be assigned an examination, which will more accurately help determine the location of the lesion and the number of parasites.

Parasitic skin diseases are diagnosed:

  • Take a scraping and smear from the mucous membrane;
  • A blood test for the presence of antibodies in it.

And only after receiving all the results, the doctor can determine the treatment regimen and prescribe drugs capable of destroying the parasite.

Treatment methods depend on the type of disease. In some cases, even surgery may be necessary. But most often it is possible to cope with the use of various drugs.

Disease prevention

Since the elimination of some types of helminths from the human body can take several years, it is easier to prevent parasitic skin diseases. To do this, avoid drinking raw water, undercooked meat products and close contact with infected people.