Parasite infection warning signs on your skin – and other symptoms

Many Parasites are invisible to the human eye, but they can spread diseases that can be fatal. Here are some of the warning signs and symptoms, including ones that may appear on the skin

Woman with itchy skin caused by parasite
It’s important to be aware of the symptoms to look out for

Parasites vary widely in their characteristics with many being invisible to the human eye. However, some worm parasites can reach a shocking 35 centimetres in length.

Parasites are organisms that live in or on another organism and depends on its host for survival – and they can spread dangerous diseases. Many people will be unaware they are suffering from an infection until it’s too late.

Having an infection could be a contributing factor to many chronic health problems, such as anaemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, joint problems or fever.

It’s important to be aware of the signs to look out for, and surprisingly, your skin may have some clues.

Skin problems to spot warning of a parasitic infection

There are many different types of parasites, which means symptoms can vary widely, from weight loss, to increased appetite or aches and pains.

However, some signs may show up on the skin, such as the following:

Who’s at risk of parasites?

Anyone can contract a parasitic infection and some people are at higher risk because of certain reasons.

One of the most common ways of contracting this type of condition is through contaminated food such as undercooked meat or drinking unclean water.

A person may also be at risk of a parasitic infection through contact with contaminated faeces, which could spread due to unsanitary habits such as not washing your hands after using the bathroom.

You are also more likely to have a parasitic infection if you have gut bacteria imbalances or a compromised immune system.

This could lead to a suppressed immune system and severe gut dysfunction.

Other symptoms of parasite infection

Symptoms of a parasite often manifest as gastrointestinal distress; however, experts warn that could be only the tip of the iceberg.

These invaders can wreak havoc on your entire body, from the brain to the liver.

Some of them have the potential to cause problems that can last years.

Internal parasites can also contribute to inflammation, immune impairment, and even autoimmune activation.

“Parasites release toxins into your bloodstream and this may cause symptoms similar to various gastrointestinal conditions,” says the Sydney Gut Clinic.

It added: “Some intestinal parasites are large enough to be seen with the naked eye and may appear as white thread-like creatures in stools.

“While some parasites don’t cause noticeable symptoms, some grow, reproduce or invade healthy functioning systems, making their hosts sick, resulting in parasitic infection.”

“For instance, some parasites may consume your food and leave you hungry after meals, resulting in an inability to gain weight.

“Others may feed off your red blood cells causing anaemia or lay eggs resulting in itching, irritability, and even insomnia.”

Gardening may increase your risk

Not washing your hands after gardening is said to increase your risk of parasites.

This may even occur when using gloves.

“An estimated 807-1,221 million people in the world are infected with Ascaris lumbricoides (sometimes called just “Ascaris”), warns the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The health site continued: “Ascaris, hookworm, and whipworm are known as soil-transmitted helminths (parasitic worms).

“Together, they account for a major burden of diseases worldwide.”

You should see your GP if you suspect you could have a parasite infection.

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