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Introduction to Parasitic Skin Infections

by James G. H. Dinulos, MD

Parasitic skin infections can cause severe itching and be distressing. Most skin parasites are insects (see Cutaneous Myiasis, see Bedbugs, and see Lice), mites (see Scabies), or worms (see Cutaneous Larva Migrans) that burrow into the skin for part or all of their life cycle. Also, some systemic parasitic infections have cutaneous manifestations; these include nematodes (eg, ancylostomiasis, dracunculosis, strongyloidiasis, toxocariasis, onchocerciasis—see Introduction to Nematodes) and flukes (eg, schistosomiasis—see Schistosomiasis). Very rarely, patients have delusional parasitosis, in which no parasites are present, but patients are convinced they are infested (see Delusional Parasitosis).

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