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What is a parasitic skin infection?

A parasitic skin infection is an itchy and uncomfortable rash or irritation usually caused by worms or insects that dig and tunnel into the skin. These parasites can spend either part of or their whole lives living there. Parasitic skin infections can be caused by helminths that spend a stage of their lives in the skin before entering the body, such as hookworms; and by insects like lice and mites. One form of infection, called swimmer's itch, is caused by parasites that are picked up while swimming in lakes, ponds, and oceans.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.