Skin Redness, Rashes, Dry Skin, Scaly Skin, and Common Everyday Skin Conditions Caused By Parasites - Do You Have One of These Common Skin Conditions?

Many people around the world suffer with skin conditions of some kind, whether it is mild such as dry skin, skin rashes, or scaly skin, or more serious skin conditions such as rosacea, scabies, or Tungiasis

Every year, many people consult doctors to try to improve their skin conditions, but many doctors fail to inform people that parasites will live and burrow into skin, which causes a majority of these skin conditions. 

All doctors must study microbiology and parasitology, but there seems to be some concern that if people knew about parasites causing health and skin problems, there would be panic. However, how can people truly overcome their health and skin problems, if they don't know what truly causes it? So today, I will teach you all about some of the parasites that cause common everyday skin conditions, as well as the more serious skin diseases that they cause.

Parasites In The Skin

Image source: "Skin infections and wrestling". Wikipedia.

Parasites can settle into any of the three layers of skin tissue: The deepest subcutaneous fat layer, the dermis layer in the middle, and the epidermis, which is the outer top layer of skin. Parasite eggs and their babies can inhabit the deeper layers, the subcutaneous layer or the dermis, since it is warmer there and allows them access to our nutrients. Adult parasites often inhabit the outer part of the skin in the form of a nest or colony, which may look like a boil, pimple, wart, extreme dry skin, a rash, discoloration, or scales.

Image source: Murch, B. (2007). "Tiny "inch worm" in my index finger". Flickr.

"Epidermal parasitic skin diseases (EPSD) are a heterogeneous category of infectious diseases in which parasite–host interactions are confined to the upper layer of the skin. The six major EPSD are scabies, pediculosis (capitis, corporis and pubis), tungiasis and hookworm-related cutaneous larva migrans" (Feldmeier, H., & Heukelbach, J. (2009). Epidermal parasitic skin diseases: a neglected category of poverty-associated plagues. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 87(2), 152–159.

Parasites That Cause Skin Conditions & Rashes

Many parasites cause skin conditions and rashes on the skin. Here are a few of them, as well as the skin problems that they cause:

1. Parasitic Roundworm Ascaris

Image sources: SuSanA Secretariat. (2014). "Ascaris Lumbricoides (roundworm)". Flickr.

"Forty (73.3%) patients presented angioedema and 15 patients (26.6%) had chronic rash. Patients who were infected with Ascaris had more severe symptoms: more than 2/3 had angioedema, and only one third had chronic rash. More than 2/3 of the patients were infested with Ascaris lumbricoides" (Varga, M., Dumitraşcu, D., Piloff, L., & Chioreanu, E. (2001). Skin manifestations in parasite infection. NCBI

2. Scabies mites burrow into the skin and lay their eggs there, which causes intense itching and red bumpy rashes.

Image source: Wunderli, M. (2006). "Sarcoptes scabiei - Scabies". Flickr

3. Flea and lice bites create bumpy red rashes.

4. Tick bites create a large round bullet rash, or a bull's eye shaped red rash.

5. Hookworms create pallor/pale-looking skin, as well as a condition called creeping eruption or cutaneous larva migrans.

"Creeping eruption causes severe itching, blisters, and a red growing, winding rash. The rash can grow up to 1 to 2 centimeters per day. The infection usually appears on areas of the body that have been exposed to the contaminated ground. These include the feet, legs, buttocks, or back" (Creeping Eruption. Johns Hopkins Medicine).

Image source: Papaiakovou, M.L. (2015). "File:Hookworm larva.jpg". Wikimedia Commons.

6. Parasitic Cyclosporosis, which causes severe dehydration that results in dry skin that has no elasticity, as well as sunken eyes. 

7. Norwegian Scabies - When people diagnosed with eczema, psoriasis, and intense dry skin have their skin tested, it is sometimes discovered that they have Norwegian Scabies, so eczema and psoriasis are also caused by parasitic infections. 

"I requested permission to scrape a piece of skin for microscopic testing, but her son refused, stating that her skin had already been sent off for testing by another physician and had come back negative for scabies. I explained to him that if the doctor removes skin and does not test it immediately, or properly preserve it, the skin will simply degrade, and all living organisms within it will die and decompose. This will yield a false negative result. Once her son understood, I obtained a sample of her skin, and examined it under a microscope. I saw mites, eggs and fomites (feces) in the skin sample, and was able to formally diagnose and treat her" (The Common Parasite That Looks Exactly like Psoriasis. Kaplan MD Beverly Hills). 

Image source: Ukster1 at English Wikipedia. (2008). "File:Norwegian Scabies in Homeless AIDS Patient.jpg". Wikipedia

8. Loiasis Filariasis can be seen moving under the skin and they cause red itchy swollen rashes. 

"Filariasis is a parasitic disease caused by thread-like filarial nematodes (roundworms) in the family Filarioidea (also known as 'filariae')...Cutaneous filariasis may be caused by Loa loa (the African eye worm), Onchocerca volvulus and Mansonella streptocerca. These worms occupy the subcutaneous layer of the skin, in the fat layer...Loiasis is a skin and eye disease caused by the nematode worm, Loa loa. Humans are the only known natural reservoir...Flies from two species of the genus Chrysops are the vector for loiasis...During a blood meal, an infected fly introduces third-stage filarial larvae on to the skin of the human host, where they penetrate into the bite wound. The larvae develop into adults that often live in subcutaneous tissue...It is estimated that 2-13 million humans are infected with the Loa loa larvae" (Henderson, R., & Bonsall, A. (2014). Cutaneous Filariasis.

9. Bed bug rashes create red round welt-like rashes. 

10. Carpet beetles act parasitic since they feed on our dead skin cells. These creatures create the skin condition known as dermatitis with large raised blisters and lesions on the skin. 

11. Kissing bugs create a red swollen skin condition known as Chagas Disease.

"Transmission typically results from the introduction of fecal matter from infected Triatomines into the bloodstream. However, transmission may also occur via transplacental transfer, blood transfusions, organ transplantations, and food. While travel is responsible for most infestations, autochthonous cases have been reported in the Southern United States" (Ash, M.M., & Phillips, C.M. (2016). Parasitic Diseases With Cutaneous Manifestations. North Carolina Medical Journal, 77(5), 350-354. doi: 10.18043/ncm.77.5.350).

12. Demodex mites cause folliculitis, dermatitis, and even rosacea.

"Demodex mites asymptomatically inhabit the pilosebaceous units of most adults (80%–100%), but an increased mite density (>5 mites/cm2) may induce pityriasis folliculorum, pustular folliculitis, periorificial dermatitis, papulopustular rosacea, and papulopustular scalp eruptions" (Ash, M.M., & Phillips, C.M. (2016). Parasitic Diseases With Cutaneous Manifestations. North Carolina Medical Journal, 77(5), 350-354. doi: 10.18043/ncm.77.5.350).


As you have learned today, parasites can cause everything from skin rashes, redness, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, to even swimmer's itch. All of the parasites mentioned here today in this article cause far more health conditions than what is mentioned here. However, this list gives you an idea about how common it is for parasites to cause everyday skin conditions.  

In life, parasites are all around us. We are their food, so we are constantly being targeted by them, so it is impossible to avoid them. However, knowledge is power. Knowing about them helps you to avoid them because of negligence and lack of knowledge. Knowing about them will also help you to treat these skin conditions properly and to take these conditions more seriously. After all, all these parasites cause various problems both inside and outside of the body. For example, a parasite that causes dry skin, can cause a more serious disease to develop over time as they continue to feed on you long-term, such as anemia, or health complications.

Any skin condition that you have or may get in the future, should be taken seriously, and you should treat yourself for parasites. This will save you a lot of trouble in the future, and give you better overall life health long-term.

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