Creeping Eruption

English: Heavy attack of Larva Migrans Cutanea...
English: Heavy attack of Larva Migrans Cutanea Deutsch: Schwerer Befall von Larva Migrans Cutanea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No! Don’t take that shoe off! Going barefoot outside when playing is fairly common among kids, and sometimes even those who are kids at heart whenever the need arises (like when fishing or gardening). Going barefoot may be fun when playing or when going outside, but beware, you might get more than what you bargained for–you might catch the Creeping Eruption disease!

Pretty unusual name for a disease, huh? Also known as Cutaneous Larva Migrans and Sand-worm disease, Creeping Eruption is a skin infection more common in countries with warm climates and children are more commonly affected than adults. It is caused by hookworms found normally in cats and dogs. Usually, when cats and dogs poop outside in the soil, the hookworm eggs found in the poop hatch and infest the soil and vegetation. So going barefooted puts you to a higher risk to get infected, especially children. When you come in contact with the infested soil, the larvae burrows into your skin and cause an inflammatory response, leading to the appearance of rashes and severe itching.

The rash develops when the hookworm larvae burrow under the top layers of your epidermis, spreading progressively over time across the skin. Common manifestations of this disease include groups of  rashes, raised, snake-like tracks (eruption) and/or curling red marks, sometimes accompanied by small blisters.

Symptoms usually appears on areas of the body that have been exposed directly with contaminated soil, such as the feet and legs. Itching may be more severe at night, and I’ll suggest that you refrain yourself from scratching these, for it may cause you more serious problems like secondary bacterial infection of the skin.

Creeping eruption may go away by itself over weeks to months. However, treatment with antiparasitic drugs like (albendazole, thiabendazole etc.) helps the infection go away more quickly and is proven highly successful.

But prevention is always better than cure. Keep in mind these 2 simple tips:

De-worming of your pet dogs and cats helps in decreasing hookworm infestation and thus, decreasing the risk of spreading the disease.The best and most effective way of prevention: avoid going barefooted and always wear your shoes!

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