A strange lump that was moving around a woman's face turned out to be a worm under her skin, as told in a case report published on The New England Journal of Medicine.
The disturbing discovery is made worse by the fact that the woman monitored the lump as it moved to different spots on her face. It took two weeks before she decided to get the lump examined by doctors.
Mysterious Lumps On Woman's Face
A 32-year-old woman in Russia noticed a small lump beneath her left eye, and she took a selfie to document the mysterious bulge, according to the report on The New England Journal of Medicine.
The lump transformed into a bizarre medical case when it started to move around the woman's face. A selfie taken five days later showed that the bulge had transferred to above her left eye, and 10 days after that, the lump was on her upper lip.
Two weeks after she noticed the lump, the woman finally decided to have it checked. An ophthalmologist observed what was called a "superficial moving oblong nodule at the left upper eyelid," and upon further investigation, doctors made a troubling discovery.
Woman Found To Have Worm Under Skin
The moving lump on her face turned out to be a worm under her skin, specifically the parasitic worm named Dirofilaria repens. The thread-like worm naturally infects animals such as dogs, cats, foxes, and other wild mammals, but humans may become accidental hosts.
Dirofilaria repens is spread by mosquito bites, which coincides with the woman's statement that she recently went to a rural area located outside Moscow, where she suffered from frequent mosquito bites.
The worms are able to go under human skin and appear as lumps, with the bulges moving in 35 percent of the cases. However, that is not where they want to be, as the worms are unable to reproduce inside humans.
According to Rostov State Medical University's Dr. Vladimir Kartashev, who treated the woman, there have been over 4,000 cases of humans being infected with Dirofilaria repens since 1997 in Russia and Ukraine.
The treatment for a Dirofilaria repens infection is actually quite simple, as the worm will simply have to be surgically removed. After the operation, the woman made a full recovery.
The woman's infection sounds worse than it is, especially compared to other worm-related cases. For example, in January, a couple who went on a vacation in the Dominican Republic got hookworms on their feet. In February, parasitic worms were found inside a woman's eye.