Published: Fri, June 22, 2018

Shifting lump on woman’s face was a worm crawling under her skin

Shifting lump on woman’s face was a worm crawling under her skin

The bump was first noticed below her left eye, then it moved above her left eye and then to her upper lip.

Kind of horrifyingly, the lump turned out to be a parasitic worm living under the skin on her face.

"After removal of the worm", the doctors wrote, "the patient had a full recovery".

Dr. Vladimir Kartashev, a professor of medicine at Rostov State Medical University who treated the 32-year-old woman, published a separate study on dirofilariasis, the name given to the infection, in 2015. Unsurprisingly, she went to the doctor - but not before taking some selfies to document the lump's movement. In 2009, a German man ended up in hospital after five weeks of headaches and difficulties with speech and motor functions - symptoms usually associated with a stroke. Doctors said the bumps were itchy and caused a burning sensation. Still, she visited an ophthalmologist to get the spot checked out. The baby does not look like a new born at all. Five days later, it had re-appeared on her upper left eyelid. "A parasite was fixed with forceps and removed surgically".


A 32-year-old woman in Russian Federation noticed a small lump beneath her left eye, and she took a selfie to document the mysterious bulge, according to the report on The New England Journal of Medicine. However, luckily, these worms can nearly never reproduce in humans, and all symptoms usually disappear quickly if the worm is removed - so if you've noticed any odd lumps moving around your body after a mosquito bite, you should probably get to a doctor.

The worms lay eggs inside a biting insect such as a mosquito, and they may then be passed onto a mammal and grow into a worm inside its body. The worms are transmitted by mosquito bites, and can accidentally use a human as a host. While hundreds of cases have been studied in Russia, Dirofilaria repens appeared to move beneath the skin in only about 35% of them.

A related worm species is known as "heartworm" in dogs.

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