What is the definition of Creeping Eruption?

Creeping eruption is a human infection with dog or cat hookworm larvae (immature worms).

What are the alternative names for Creeping Eruption?

Parasite infection - hookworm; Cutaneous larvae migrans; Zoonotic hookworm; Ancylostoma caninum; Ancylostoma braziliensis; Bunostomum phlebotomum; Uncinaria stenocephala

What are the causes for Creeping Eruption?

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.

What are the symptoms for Creeping Eruption?

Symptoms of creeping eruption include:

  • Blisters
  • Itching, may be more severe at night
  • Raised, snakelike tracks in the skin that may spread over time, usually about 1 cm (less than one half inch) per day, usually on the feet and legs (severe infections may cause several tracks)

What are the current treatments for Creeping Eruption?

Anti-parasitic medicines may be used to treat the infection.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Creeping Eruption?

Creeping eruption often goes away by itself over weeks to months. Treatment helps the infection go away more quickly.

What are the possible complications for Creeping Eruption?

Creeping eruption may lead to these complications:

  • Bacterial skin infections caused by scratching
  • Spread of the infection through the bloodstream to the lungs or small intestine (rare)

When should I contact a medical professional for Creeping Eruption?

Make an appointment with your provider if you or your child have skin sores that are:

  • Snake-like
  • Itchy
  • Moving from one area to another

How do I prevent Creeping Eruption?

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.

  • Condition: Parasitic Skin Diseases
  • Journal: The Brazilian journal of infectious diseases : an official publication of the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases
  • Treatment Used: Dimeticones
  • Number of Patients: 106
  • Published —
In this analysis, researchers evaluated the safety and effectiveness of dimeticones for the treatment of parasitic skin diseases.
  • Condition: Cutaneous Larva Migrans (CLM)
  • Journal: Dermatologic therapy
  • Treatment Used: Topical Ivermectin
  • Number of Patients: 1
  • Published —
This case report discusses a a 52-year old with cutaneous larva migrans (creeping eruption; CLM) treated with topical ivermectin.

There are no recent clinical trials available for this condition. Please check back because new trials are being conducted frequently.