Parasite cause of moving bump on woman's face

It caused her top lip to swell and itch a little resulting in a burning sensation

It caused her top lip to swell and itch a little resulting in a burning sensation

It took two weeks before she made a decision to get the lump examined by doctors.

A woman who went to an ophthalmologist complaining of lumps that were appearing and disappearing in various places on her face received a surprising and somewhat horrifying diagnosis. The bump was first noticed below her left eye, then it moved above her left eye and then to her upper lip.

Doctors said she documented random bumps on her face with a series of selfies over a two-week period.

Two weeks after she noticed the lump, the woman finally chose to have it checked.

And for our weekly trip to Nopeville, we give you the story of a 32-year-old woman from Russian Federation who had the shock of her life when she realized that the lump on top of her left eye wasn't really a lump.

Dirofilaria repens mostly affects dogs and other carnivores such as cats, wolves, foxes or raccoons.

The bumps were itchy and sometimes caused a burning feeling, she said, but did not cause any other symptoms.

10 days after that, it traveled to her upper lip.


The worm can't actually reach maturity inside the human body, and therefore can't reproduce. The worms are transmitted by mosquito bites, and can accidentally use a human as a host. The Russian woman said she had recently traveled to a rural area outside Moscow and was frequently bitten by mosquitoes, according to the new report.

Thankfully, the treatment was simple - the doctors removed the worm surgically, and the woman made a full recovery.

The parasite, a cousin of heartworm, is found in Europe, Africa and Asia and can grow to as long as six inches. They also occur around the world - and in Russian Federation and Belarus, 1,272 cases were identified between 1997 and 2013, most of which were not reported in medical journals. Between 1997 and 2012 the number of recorded cases increased from eight to over 200 per year, and people are being infected at higher and higher latitudes.

Here's something uncomfortable to think about: A worm moving around under the skin on your face.

In a separate 2014 paper published in theInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases, scientists said patients with dirofilariasis often report the sensation of "crawling" under their skin.

We've all heard the urban legend about the woman with the spiders living in her face, but we've always been able to comfort ourselves with its falseness.

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