Cutaneous larva migrans (creeping eruption) is a hookworm infection transmitted from warm, moist soil to exposed skin.
This infection is caused by a hookworm that normally inhabits dogs and cats. The eggs of the parasite are deposited on the ground in dog and cat feces. When bare skin touches the ground, which happens when a person walks barefoot or sunbathes, the hookworm gets into the skin. Starting from the site of infection—usually the feet, legs, buttocks, or back—the hookworm burrows along a haphazard tract, leaving a winding, threadlike, raised, red rash. The eruption itches intensely.
A liquid preparation of thiabendazole applied to the affected area effectively treats the infection. Albendazole or ivermectin given by mouth also is effective.
Last full review/revision September 2008 by James G. H. Dinulos, MD