Cutaneous larva migrans – a threat to divers in the tropics

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Abstract

The article presents a dermatosis that occurs in tropical and subtropical countries. Though the definitive hosts of the cutaneous larva migrans parasite are animals, humans can become accidental hosts and they are infected when their skin comes into contact with damp soil, most frequently sand. The disease is only present in the epidermis where an itch is brought about by the mining activity of the larva. Sunbathers and divers who put on their gear on a beach, on account of the epidermis maceration caused by a prolonged exposure to water, are particularly susceptible to the penetrative activities of the larva. In Poland the cutaneous larva migrans is in most cases mistaken for nettle rash or eczema.

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