Skin & Body Care

Woman Discovers the "Moving Bump" Under Her Skin Is Actually a Parasitic Worm

As if mosquito bites weren't annoying enough with their itchiness, redness, and swelling, the diseases they transmit are on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You're probably familiar with viruses like Zika and West Nile because they've reached epidemic levels that landed them in the headlines in recent years, but you may have not heard of one type of mosquito-borne menace that recently wreaked havoc on a Russian woman's face — or rather, under her skin.

A recent report in The New England Journal of Medicine tells the creepy-ass tale of a 32-year-old woman who, after visiting a rural area where she was bitten by a number of mosquitoes, noticed a bump under her left eye. No big deal, right? Probably a mosquito bite, or maybe a zit. Five days later, however, the bump was no longer under her eye, but over it — and significantly more prominent, presenting with several raised areas. Another 10 days passed, and the bump had moved yet again, this time presenting as an unevenly swollen lip.

It was at this point that the woman finally sought medical attention, and luckily, she had documented the traveling bumps with selfies in the two weeks since they had first formed. Those images helped doctors determine that she was dealing with something called Dirofilaria repens, which is a pretty, Latin way of saying parasitic fucking worm that moves around under your fucking skin.

"A physical examination showed a superficial moving oblong nodule at the left upper eyelid. A parasite was fixed with forceps and removed surgically," the report reads, implying that the uninvited guest had decided to head back to her upper eyelid. "The parasite was identified by means of a polymerase-chain-reaction assay as Dirofilaria repens, which is a zoonotic filarial nematode" — another synonym for parasitic fucking worm that moves around under your fucking skin.

So, here's the good news: According to the report, the patient fully recovered and was cured after the surgical removal of the parasitic worm. Here's the even better news: This isn't common, at least not in people. "Dogs and other carnivores are the definitive hosts, and mosquitoes serve as vectors. Humans can become aberrant hosts," the report states. So while a mosquito bite could lead to a nematode wiggling around under your skin, it probably won't.

Anyway, here's a link to some mosquito repellant, because you can never be too careful in the pursuit of never, ever contracting a worm in your face.

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