Creepy Crawley

There are very few things concerning the foot and ankle that might truly creep you out. It may give you the heebie-jeebies, the creepy-crawlies, or that spine tingly sensation that makes you quiver from head to toe. One of the truly creepy things that can affect the foot is a condition called Cutaneous Larva Migrans. I know, I know.What?!

Cutaneous Larva Migrans

  • Rare parasitic infection caused by the larval form of the dog hookworm, Ancylostoma brazilienses.
  • It is commonly contracted in warm, tropical environments such as the Southeastern United States OR from tropical beach environments.
  • The majority of cases present on the feet/legs having come into contact with sand housing the parasite.

Clinical presentation

  • Extremely itchy and red skin lesion that has a snake like appearance.
  • This lesion will progress through the foot/leg tracing the track the organism forges under the skin.
  • The parasite itself is usually 1-2cm ahead of the visible track.
  • The larva are deposited in the soil from either a dog or cat in egg form where they will then mature and find their way into a human host.


  • Condition is actually self-limiting as the parasite will eventually die.
  • Topical Thiobendazole can help speed the recovery.

Please remember this is a rare infective process so please dont cancel your next tropical vacation. Enjoy the fun in the sun and know that if you begin to experience something similar, you have knowledge to arm you.

If you have any foot/ankle related concern, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or

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Tags: Cutaneous Larva Migrans, Infection, itchy, parasite