Mysterious Lump Moves across Woman’s Face, Turns Out to be a Worm

A 32-year-old woman was mystified by a small, itchy lump growing on her face because it appeared to move around, going from one part of her face to another. But she was shocked to learn that this strange condition was due to a parasitic worm! Yikes.

When the patient first noticed the small, itchy lump on her face, it was below her left eye. She thought it was due to a mosquito bite but the itchy feeling wouldn’t go away.

Five days later, however, the woman was surprised to find that though the lump under her left eye was gone, it had moved towards the upper part of her eye. It certainly was no ordinary lump.

It didn’t hurt but it was itchy at times.

Then, 10 days after it first appeared, the lump moved to her upper lip.

Photo credit: New England Journal of Medicine / NBC News

Feeling rather mystified over what was happening, the woman began to take selfies to show the strange lumps on her face. She was puzzled because when she finds the new lump, the old lump would always disappear.

After days of trying to solve the mystery on her own, she finally went to a doctor for help – and discovered that a parasitic worm was moving around her face.

Dr. Vladimir Kartashev of Rostov State Medical University in Russia pulled out the worm. It was identified by parasitologist Fernando Simon of the University of Salamanca in Spain as Dirofilaria repens, a nematode that often affects pets like dogs and cats.

According to the parasitologist, the worm is usually harmless and causes very little physical damage to the patient; taking it out solves the problem.

However, because it can grow up to 6 inches long and does migrate inside the body, it could cause danger when it reaches vital organs. In the past, a German tourist suffered meningoencephalitis due to the same species of parasite he contracted while on vacation in India or Sri Lanka.

As for the woman above, it was believed that she got the worm through a mosquito bite at a rural area outside Moscow.

Thankfully, she made a full recovery after the parasite was removed.

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