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Emerg Med J. 2007 September; 24(9): 678.
PMCID: PMC2464634

Cutaneous larva migrans in England: a case in a returning traveller

A 17‐year‐old man presented with a history of insect bite to his right foot 1 week ago. He had recently returned to the UK from Kenya after a holiday. A serpiginous elevated tunnel‐like erythematous skin lesion was seen on the sole of his foot (fig 11).). The patient thought it was an insect and tried to lance it out himself (leaving two puncture holes as shown in the fig) but was unsuccessful. The clinical diagnosis was cutaneous larva migrans.1

figure em41442.f1
Figure 1 Lesion on sole of foot caused by cutaneous larva migrans. Informed consent was obtained for publication of this figure.

Cutaneous larva migrans—also known as ground itch or sandworm disease—is a dermatosis caused by accidental percutaneous penetration and subsequent migration of larvae of various nematode parasites.2 The disease is restricted to the epidermis and is self‐limiting; rarely pulmonary eosinophilia and secondary bacterial infection can occur. Treatment is cryotherapy or anti‐parasitic medication with thiabendazole. The eruption generally disappears after 1–2 months, but may present for 6 months or longer.


Competing interests: None declared.


1. Juzych L A, Douglass M C. Cutaneous larva migrans. E‐Medicine by WebMD 1996–2006. Updated April 10 2006
2. Shinkar R M, Stocks R, Thomas E. Cutaneous larva migrans, creeping eruption, sand worm. Arch Dis Child 2005. 90998

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