I got a rash on vacation — it was parasites living in my leg

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What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple? How about a whole nest of them in your leg?

A Colombian woman was left horrified after discovering that her innocuous-seeming rash was actually a bunch of parasites that had colonized her leg.

She detailed the skin-crawling tale in a TikTok video with over 257,000 views.

“The doctor told me that I had a parasite,” Marystella Gomez, 27, told Jam Press of the unfortunate infestation, which she contracted during a family getaway in the idyllic beach town of Coveñas.

Gomez and the fam had reportedly spent the weeklong jaunt lounging in the sand and frolicking in the waves — oblivious to the fact that her leg would soon become a parasite playground.

During the flight home, the beachgoer had reportedly noticed a series of small, itchy red pimple-esque spots on her leg.

“I started scratching my leg more and more,” said Gomez, who found it strange that the itchiness only flared up during the night.

Gomez's parasite-infested leg.
Gomez had contracted a type of parasitic hookworm found in pet feces.
Jam Press Vid/@doscabraslocas

Hoping to shed light on the nocturnal dermal disturbances, the Colombian reported to the emergency room, where doctors diagnosed her with a fungus and prescribed her medication.

Unfortunately, the drug did nothing to alleviate her symptoms and her leg only got “worse and worse,” the distraught gal said.

After several fruitless doctor’s visits, Gomez finally saw the dermatologist, who revealed that it was no rash.

She reportedly had cutaneous larva migrans, an infection caused by a certain species of parasitic hookworm, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The eggs of these parasites are shed in the feces of infected animals and can end up in the environment, contaminating the ground where the animal defecated,” they write. “People become infected when the zoonotic hookworm larvae penetrate unprotected skin, especially when walking barefoot or sitting on contaminated soil or sand.”

Marystella Gomez.
“Strangely, I only scratched my leg a lot at night and I didn’t understand why,” said Gomez.
Jam Press/@doscabraslocas

Gomez's leg.
“The dermatologist sent me medication to kill the parasite and it went away,” said Gomez.
Jam Press Vid/@doscabraslocas

Gomez details her condition on TikTok.
The parasite is known as cutaneous larva migrans and is generally transmitted through contact with animal feces.
Jam Press Vid/@doscabraslocas

The aforementioned skin rashes occur when the larvae move through the skin and cause inflammation.

Gomez believes she contracted the parasite while playing in contaminated sand during her vacation.

“Many people take their dogs and cats to the beach and they poop,” she said, while describing the “Monsters Inside Me”-esque scenario. “The owners don’t pick it up and then it stays in the sand and you sit or step on the sand and the parasite sticks to you.”

She added, “The parasite sticks by direct contact with the skin.”

“The parasite sticks by direct contact with the skin,” said Gomez.
Jam Press Vid/@doscabraslocas

Thankfully, Gomez managed to eradicate the infestation by taking medicine prescribed by her dermatologist.

The revolting saga had social media squirming, with one TikToker writing, “Nooo new fear deactivated, one can no longer even touch sand.”

Another petrified party exclaimed, “Thank goodness I’m not going to the beach.”

Gomez's leg.
Gomez was initially diagnosed with a fungal infection, but later learned the rash was caused by parasites.
Jam Press Vid/@doscabraslocas

This isn’t the first time someone has contracted this unwanted excremental straggler.

In a story closer to home, a Florida beach trip in 2018 left a teenage boy with painful hookworm infections all over his feet.

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