Creeping eruption is a human infection with dog or cat hookworm larvae (immature worms).
Parasite infection - hookworm; Cutaneous larvae migrans; Zoonotic hookworm; Ancylostoma caninum; Ancylostoma braziliensis; Bunostomum phlebotomum; Uncinaria stenocephala
Hookworm eggs are found in the stool of infected dogs and cats. When the eggs hatch, the larvae can infest soil and vegetation.
When you come into contact with this infested soil, the larvae can burrow into your skin. They cause an intense inflammatory response that leads to a rash and severe itching.
Creeping eruption is more common in countries with warm climates. In the United States, the Southeast has the highest rates of infection. The main risk factor for this disease is contact with damp, sandy soil that has been contaminated with infected cat or dog stool. More children than adults are infected.
Symptoms of creeping eruption include:
Anti-parasitic medicines may be used to treat the infection.
Creeping eruption often goes away by itself over weeks to months. Treatment helps the infection go away more quickly.
Creeping eruption may lead to these complications:
Make an appointment with your provider if you or your child have skin sores that are:
Public sanitation and deworming of dogs and cats have decreased hookworm infestation in the United States.
Hookworm larvae often enter the body through bare feet, so wearing shoes in areas where hookworm infestations are known to occur helps prevent infection.
Habif TP. Infestations and bites. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 15.
Nash TE. Visceral larva migrans and other uncommon helminth infections. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, Updated Edition. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 292.
There are no recent clinical trials available for this condition. Please check back because new trials are being conducted frequently.