Larva migrans cutaneousa is a skin disease. The disease is usually caused by the larvae of a specific type of hookworm. The larva migrans cutanea is sometimes also referred to as skin mole. In warmer zones, larva migrans cutanea is one of the most common skin diseases. In some cases, tourists in the respective countries fall ill with a larva migrans cutanea.
What is larva migrans cutanea?
In addition to hookworms, some threadworms are also possible pathogens that cause larva migrans cutanea. Humans become infected with the parasites by walking barefoot over animal droppings or paths contaminated with the relevant pathogens. See AbbreviationFinder for abbreviations related to Larva Migrans Cutanea.
The first description of the larva migrans cutanea was in 1874. In 1928 the responsible larvae were identified. Basically, it is a skin disease caused by parasites. The larva migrans cutanea is caused by different types of parasites.
For example, hookworms, horsefly larvae and the tumbu fly are possible triggers of the disease. In the majority of cases, however, the pathogens of the larva migrans cutanea are hookworms. The human being is a false host and not the actual target host of the parasites.
The majority of the pathogens are native to tropical or warm regions. For example, the parasites live in some areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America. The species can also occur in Mediterranean Europe if the temperatures are high enough.
Various types of parasites can be considered as causes for the development of larva migrans cutanea. As a rule, these are the larvae of various worms or flies. For example, hookworms such as Ancylostoma braziliense or Uncinaria stenocephala trigger a larva migrans cutanea if the patient is infected as a false host.
However, since humans are not the target hosts the parasites are looking for, the larvae do not fully develop in the human organism. It forms as no adult worms in the body. In addition to hookworms, some threadworms are also possible pathogens that cause larva migrans cutanea. Humans become infected with the parasites by walking barefoot over animal droppings or paths contaminated with the relevant pathogens.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
The complaints that appear as part of the larva migrans cutanea are diverse. In most cases, symptoms are concentrated in the lower limbs, back and soles of the feet. The first signs of larva migrans cutanea often appear hours to days after infection with the corresponding parasites. The affected persons often feel intense itching.
The diseased areas of the body and skin usually swell, with a typical reddening forming. The reddened areas of skin are reminiscent of serpentines because they correspond to the paths of the larvae. These passages of the parasites under the skin can often be seen even without a magnifying glass. As a result of the infection, the affected regions usually become severely inflamed.
However, the inflammatory processes usually remain localized. In some cases, the burrows of the larvae are not clearly visible under the skin due to swelling and redness. The symptoms occur particularly frequently on the soles of the feet, with the infection usually occurring while running.
In addition, the back is often affected by larva migrans cutanea when the patients lie naked in the sand. In the majority of cases, the larva migrans cutanea heals by itself after a few weeks. In rare cases, healing takes place only after two years.
Diagnosis & course of disease
A doctor should be consulted if there are typical signs of larva migrans cutanea. Although the larva migrans cutanea often heals by itself, it is still advisable to see a doctor. Because in some cases there are less harmless causes behind the symptoms, which are similar to those of a larva migrans cutanea.
The doctor takes an anamnesis, discusses the medical history, and asks the patient about past activities and places visited where the relevant parasites may be native. He thus receives relevant details that make it easier for him to make the diagnosis. Cutaneous larva migrans is usually diagnosed based on the obvious signs.
However, secondary infections complicate the diagnosis. Basically, mainly clinical examination methods are used. The characteristic appearances on the skin, especially the burrows of the larvae, usually point relatively clearly to the larva migrans cutaneous. However, it is difficult to identify the responsible larvae.
Due to the larva migrans cutanea, there are primarily various complaints on the skin of the affected person. In most cases, patients suffer from itching and severely reddened skin. Scratching usually only makes the itch worse. Likewise, patients often suffer from reduced self-esteem or inferiority complexes and feel uncomfortable with the symptoms.
This can also lead to depression or other psychological upsets that have a very negative effect on the quality of life. It is not uncommon for swelling to occur in the affected regions. As a result, there can be various restrictions in the everyday life of those affected. Self-healing of the larva migrans cutanea does not usually occur, so that the affected person is dependent on treatment by a doctor.
Treatment of this disease takes place with the help of various drugs and does not lead to any special complications. The symptoms on the affected skin areas disappear. However, the larvae under the skin must still be removed. The life expectancy of the patient is not affected by the larva migrans cutanea.
When should you go to the doctor?
If itching, pain or redness is noticed in the area of the back and soles of the feet, this may be due to larva migrans cutanea. The general practitioner should be consulted if the symptoms have not subsided after a few days. If the affected area becomes infected, it is best to get medical help right away. The same applies if the parasite’s tunnels can be seen externally or if there are other warning signs of a worm infestation.
The doctor must be informed at the latest when a strong feeling of discomfort, increasing itching or mental upsets occur. Although the larva migrans cutanea often heals by itself, the parasitic disease should be clarified. Individuals who have an infestation due to a specific cause such as avacationin a potentially contaminated region or contact with infected animals should den family doctor and carefully monitor the affected skin areas. If abnormalities appear or the state of health deteriorates, the worm larvae must be removed with medication or surgery. Sick people can see the general practitioner, dermatologist or internistconsult.
Treatment & Therapy
In principle, the larva migrans cutanea heals by itself in many cases and therapy is not necessary. Sometimes, however, self-healing is delayed and treatment is required. In addition, medication is sometimes used to alleviate the acute symptoms.
As part of the external treatment, the patients receive an ointment containing thiabendazole. This is applied to the affected skin areas for a few days. If the inflammation is particularly severe, ointments containing glucocorticoids are also used. As a result, the skin areas usually swell.
When internal treatment is needed, thiabendazole is often given. Surgical interventions to remove the larvae under the skin are also possible. However, there is a risk of scarring, so drug therapy is the method of choice.
Outlook & Forecast
The prognosis of larva migrans cutanea is favorable. In a large number of patients, spontaneous healing can be documented in the further course. The changes in the skin’s appearance often disappear within a few weeks without the aid of drugs or other medical treatments. The itching is reduced and the redness of the skin and the swelling subside. Freedom from symptoms is usually achieved within a short period of time.
In some cases, however, there is a delay in the healing process. These patients develop the tendency of chronic skin disease. If desired, medical care can help to alleviate the symptoms in this course of the disease. A complete recovery is normally achieved within two years, even in the case of complications or unfavorable courses.
Durch den Juckreiz und das Kratzen der Haut kann es zu langfristigen Veränderungen des Hautbildes kommen. Auch wenn die Erkrankung geheilt ist, besteht die Möglichkeit, dass eine Narbenbildung zurückbleibt. Die Narben stellen keinen Krankheitswert dar und führen nur sehr selten zu Beeinträchtigungen bei der Bewältigung des Alltags. Sofern gewünscht, kann mit einer Lasertherapie im Anschluss eine Behandlung der optischen Auffälligkeiten erfolgen.
The overall course of the disease is improved if the person affected has a stable and healthy immune system. At the same time, the use of perfumed creams or other skin-irritating products should be avoided.
Larva migrans cutanea can be prevented by refraining from risky behavior in the appropriate countries. For example, it is advisable to use towels as a pad on dirty beaches.
In most cases, the person affected with larva migrans cutanea has no special follow-up measures available. Therefore, a doctor must be consulted very early on with this disease in order to prevent further deterioration of the symptoms. Self-healing cannot occur in this case, and further complications can also occur if the larva migrans cutanea is not diagnosed in good time.
Most of those affected by this disease are dependent on taking various medications and also on the use of special ointments. Patients should always pay attention to correct application and also to correct dosage. In the event of side effects or other uncertainties, a doctor should always be consulted first.
If the larva migrans cutanea is to be treated surgically, the person concerned should definitely rest after the procedure and take care of their body. Efforts should be refrained from in order not to unnecessarily burden the body. Since the disease can also lead to a significantly reduced aesthetics of the affected person, intensive and loving conversations with close relatives or with one’s own family are often very useful.
You can do that yourself
In many cases, the disease can be prevented by observing and following high standards of hygiene. The affected person should always disinfect their hands before taking food and liquids. It is also true that holidaymakers, especially on beaches, only lie on a towel and do not lie directly on the sand.
The treatment of the disease is usually carried out by the patient himself with the help of creams and ointments. These must be applied regularly and relieve the symptoms considerably. The swelling will also subside. If the larvae have already penetrated the skin, a diagnosis and treatment by a doctor is essential. This will prevent further discomfort and complications. Although self-healing can occur in some cases, the risk of the larvae spreading further is relatively high and should therefore not be taken.
In most cases, there is a positive course of the disease in larva migrans cutanea, so that no special treatment is necessary in the future. If itching occurs, the affected person should not scratch the skin, as this will only make it worse. Especially with children, parents must prevent scratching.