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What is it?

Disease caused by Tunga penetrans, a flea found in soil, especially in pastures. The female flea penetrates the skin, where it sucks blood from the host and begins to produce eggs, which develop and are then eliminated in the soil.

Characteristics and symptoms

The lesion has a circular shape, is elevated and yellowish, with a central black dot. The areas most affected are the feet and itching is common. Secondary infection may occur, with local pain and purulent discharge.

Tungiasis before and after removal


To avoid contamination by Tunga penetrans, one should avoid walking barefoot in places frequented by animals such as cows and pigs.

Treatment consists of complete removal of the flea with a cutting-needle or scalpel, which should be done by a dermatologist. In case of secondary infection, the use of local antibiotics may be necessary.

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- Scabies
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