Do you love burying yourself in the sand at the beach? After reading this story, you might want to think twice about touching the sand.
TikToker Samuel (@skingapore) is a general practitioner with a focus on skincare, and he’s discussing a medical case involving dog hookworms and how you can avoid contracting them.
A 17-year-old boy named Michael Dumas went to a beach in Florida with his friends. In keeping with the popular beach tradition, he was buried neck-deep in the sand.
But when he got home, he started to complain about an itch. At first, he brushed it off, thinking it was just an ear infection. However, the symptoms worsened.
He began feeling more lethargic and even developed some freaky-looking rashes, several of which were on his rear end.
As the days passed, more rashes appeared on his legs. Finally, he went to see the doctor and was diagnosed with cutaneous larva migrans, also known as hookworm.
It was no ordinary human hookworm, though. Michael’s hookworm was from a dog. Dog hookworms are found in soil or sand that has been contaminated with feces from a dog that carried the worm. When someone steps on the contaminated soil, the worm will go into their skin.
Humans are not suitable hosts for dog hookworms. So instead of migrating to the intestines like a human hookworm, dog hookworms stay inside the skin and feast on the body.
The worm can travel underneath the skin, creating a trail, which shows up in the form of a rash. The worm can be found at the end of the trail.