Mysterious lump moving around woman's face was actually a parasitic worm

Mysterious lump moving around woman's face was actually a parasitic worm

Mysterious lump moving around woman's face was actually a parasitic worm

A woman who went to an ophthalmologist complaining of lumps that were appearing and disappearing in various places on her face received a surprising and somewhat horrifying diagnosis.

According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, the parasite was fixed with forceps and removed surgically.

Five days later, the lump moved up to her eyelid.

. However, in five days, the swelling shifted above her left eyelid and in 10 days the left side of her upper lip.

The lady made a decision to document the movement of the nodule and this she did by taking photographs of her face.

She said it caused occasional itching and burning, but had no other symptoms. Turns out, she had a particular kind of parasitic worm, Dirofilaria repens, living under her skin.

A physical examination showed a superficial moving along the lump. Subsequent genetic tests identified the worm as a Dirofilaria repens. The woman in the case in NEJM reportedly made a full recovery.

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But dirofilariasis (the infection caused by these worms) is still more common in humans than you'd want it to be.

Typically, these worms only infect dogs, foxes, or raccoons. For the most part, they are not risky to humans. So a human infection by one of these worms is always an accident. The 32-year-old first experienced the development on her face after she visited a rural area outside Moscow.

However, transmission to humans is rare. Vladimir Kartashev, a professor of medicine at Rostov State Medical University who treated the Russian woman wrote a study on dirofilariasis in 2015 which revealed that between June 1997 and June 2013 almost 1,300, mostly women who visited rural areas, were infected in Russia. She didn't pay attention to it, at first, but she started posting pictures of the bump of her social media channel just in case.

But tourists who plan to travel to Russian Federation to watch the FIFA world cup this year are advised to always keep insect repellant at hand and cover themselves up if they plan on visiting the rural areas.

There are a number of medical conditions that can cause bumps and lumps in the skin of your face, but this turned out to be none of those. However, it would appear that the treatment is pretty straightforward - surgery to remove the critter.

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