Beware of walking barefoot on some beaches. You could become infected with dog or cat hookworms (a Parasite). I recently diagnosed a patient who came to the office with unusual marks on her foot. They were painful and red. She had been vacationing on the beaches of Costa Rica two weeks previously. My diagnosis was Cutaneous Larva Migrans. As shown in this photograph worms can be seen in the skin of her foot.
Cutaneous Larva Migrans is a parasitic infection caused by the larval phase of hookworms that are frequently found in the feces of cats and dogs. The eggs of the worm are shed in the feces, pass into the sand or soil, and develop into larvae which can penetrate bare skin.
– The main symptoms are pain, itching and red marks on the skin.
– Lesions are typically found on feet or buttocks that have been in direct contact with contaminated soil or sand.
– The skin shows worm shaped patterns at the site of penetration.
– Symptoms typically develop 1 to 5 days after infection but may occur as long as 4 weeks 4 weeks after infection.