Unknown bug in human skin (blood too?)
Location: Sierra Foothills, S. Central California
November 12, 2010 4:51 pm
I somehow got infested with a small bug that is NOT 8 legged (i.e. tick, crab,
scabies, bed-bug,etc.) but in its larger state looks more like a caraway seed with one end rounded. The smaller versions look the same. Some are speck sized. They have burrowed under my skin and will only come up when I apply bleach, Comet (that’s how I found out they were bugs and not thorns) or rubbing alcohol. My MD is baffled and I have consulted an Infectious Disease specialist who has sent samples (obtained after my GP gave me a parasite remover that I had to swallow (4 of them) on an empty stomach.
The specialist says she can’t identify them – or wouldn’t identify them until we got a lab report back. My secondary symptoms include SEVERE pain that radiates from the base of my skull down my neck and right shoulder. I’ve had to go to my MD for pain shot relief. She also gave me an anti-spasm, anti-inflammatory drug that seems to help. No one has EVER heard of this and, the specialist is so blaze’ about it, she didn’t even put a rush to the lab. There appear to be thousands of them in my skin and blood. (No exaggeration here.) I am going out of my mind. The little ones crawl out of my skin – especially when I’m hot (I have a jacket
or sweatshirt on) and I find them in my bedding in the morning or embedded in my
underpants. She said that they are NOT transferable, but I’m out on disability until we can know, for certain, what they are and how to kill them. My MD has ordered a CAT scan of my head (next Tuesday 11/16). I really can’t tell you much more about the bug, but it appears to have two translucent ”feeler”-like appendages that come out of the pointy end and sometimes stick out of my skin. (Breathing tubes?) I can’t see for certain, but I suspect that they have little, short legs on the sides of their ”caraway seed” shaped body and the larger ones have visible
lines that run across the bug (horizontally). They are both black and also rusty brown color. I haven’t been out of the country, but I do live next to a small river (Tule River) that has a pretty stagnant part on my land that I’ve had to wade into to clean off my pump filter. At this point I don’t have a clue where it came from. I just want it gone, and I’m loosing my mind. I also forgot to mention that I’m somewhat bug-phobic. HELP (if you can). I don’t think the photo I’m sending will be of any help. My digital just won’t give it the clarity. Just for reference, I shot the picture on a 8-1/2 X 11” piece of paper that I folded into quarter sized (4ths). I believe I’ve had this infestation for over a year, but just recognized them as ”bugs”.
Signature: Frantic in the Foothills
Dear Frantic in the Foothills,
We sympathize with your infestation, but we are at a loss as to what this could be. We are not medical specialists and we are very reluctant to give health advice. We are quite curious what the specialist determines regarding this matter.
Thank you for your response, even though you can’t identify the bug. I have to admit the
photograph wasn’t the least bit helpful. I did, however, just buy a microscope that has a
digital camera attached, so maybe you can at least identify the “bug”. I firmly believe it
came from the water and not the land. I don’t expect you to diagonse my infestation
(that’s why I’ve consulted an Infectious Disease Specialist), but knowing what the bug
(worm?) is would give me a kick-start.
At any rate, I’ll certainly let you know when I find out. This is one for the books. I’m going
to bypass the book and go straight to the screenplay.
Thanks again for responding. Most sites would have just blown me off.
Frantic in the Foothills (aka Jan)
Hi again Jan,
We wish you the best of luck in eliminating this problem and would be more than happy to post any updates you are able to provide including better quality images. We try not to be alarmist but we cannot help but ponder how things like global travel and global warming are affecting the range expansion of species that once had isolated distributions. Tropical diseases like West Nile Virus and Invasive Exotic species like the Emerald Ash Borer are wreaking havoc in areas where they have been introduced. Water is a well documented method for the transference of pathogens there are numerous diseases that incorporate complex life cycles that include multiple unrelated hosts. We are sorry we are unable to provide you with any concrete diagnosis.
Update from Commenter Julie: May 9, 2014
Mine has cleared up. After seeing the dermatologist and seeing that they were indeed fibres, I rented a sunbed and after a few days all itching stopped thank god!! Still not convinced a parasite wasnt involved at some level, no reason for fibres to be getting into my skin if they werent being taken in, however, at present I am symptom free…touch wood!!
Update from Commenter John: February 14, 2016
I am sorry your life is filled with so many troubles caused by these horrible creatures. I would like to have some doctor that called you crazy come and live in your house for a few days so they could experience what you do. But, for some reason, they just want to ignore these things and pretend that all of us are simply crazy.
My creatures infest my garage and fogging seems to make them angry. I can’t even open the door to the garage without being swarmed and then the itching and stinging begins. Like you I clean everything and spray every plastic and vinyl surface with 409 and then bleach and wipe it off to get rid of whatever it is so I can sit down without going crazy. I have had some good luck with tea tree oil on my body so I can sleep. I shower and wash my head with shampoo and rinse really hard. Then use conditioner which rinses out a lot of the creatures because they often sting me on their way down my face and body. Finally, I use tea tree oil shampoo to which I add about a quarter ounce off tea tree oil. I shampoo that in vigorously and leave it on for a while and rinse it out completely. I use the tea tree oil shampoo on my spots where I have a rash from these creatures too.
I dry off and towel dry my hair. Then I mix a small amount of cream with a small amount of tea tree oil and rub that into my hair and scalp. I let that dry naturally. I mix another batch and spread that on my rash. When I get ready for bed I sleep with a glad garbage bag over my pillow taped shut to enclose the pillow. I sleep on the garbage bag because cloth pillowcases seem to be good homes for my creatures and I itch all night. Each night I wash off the garbage bag with Clorox bleach cleaner and let it dry then go to bed. I sleep when I do this. My wife had me try just putting lotion on my head instead of my routine of tea tree oil but after a couple of hours of itching and scratching I showered again and did my routine with tea tree oil, replaced my garbage bag pillowcase and then I could sleep.
This life is close to torture. I am getting a hazmat suit and respirator, a compressor, paint sprayer and a gallon of tea tree oil and ivermectin and spraying my garage over and over until the darn things are gone from my garage.
Best wishes for a life without these creatures of yours,