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Cutaneous larva migrans

What is it?

The cutaneous larva migrans is a disease caused by intestinal parasites of dogs and cats. When they defecate on the ground or sand, the eggs shed in the feces turn into larvae. These penetrate the skin of humans causing the disease.

Characteristics and symptoms

When in human skin, the larva can not reach the intestine (which occur in dogs and cats), and digs under the skin forming a tortuous and reddish tunnel. More common in children, lesions are usually accompanied by intense itch. The most commonly affected areas are the soles of the feet, legs and buttocks. It may occur as a single lesion or multiple lesions. Because of the scratching a secondary infection of the lesions is often present.

larva migrans


Treatment can be done with oral medication for multiple lesions and extensive cases. In mild cases, the use of topical medication is usually effective.

To prevent infection by cutaneous larva migrans, avoid walking barefoot in places frequented by dogs and cats. Sandboxes should be covered at night to prevent its use by cats to defecate. Collect the feces of your dog and encourage other pet owners to do the same. Do not bring animals to the beach.

Related articles

- Impetigo
- Molluscum contagiosum

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