28
Aug
09

Ever wondered what Sandworm is?

Most Sodwana regulars have suffered from this terrible itch, but few know what it is.  I put together a bit of information for you.

What we call sandworm is also called creeping eruption or cutaneous larva migrans.  Sandworm is caused by the larvae of the dog and cat hookworm , Ancylostoma  Brasiliense.  The eggs found in dog or cat poo hatch in warm, shady, moist, sandy soil.  (Now I understand why dogs are banned on many beaches)

When you walk barefoot on the sand, the larva quickly enters the skin.  It travels around under the surface of the skin and leaves behind a raised blister like track. The larva migrates 2mm to 2cm per day.  The actual larva is usually 1-2cm further than the track. The larva cannot penetrate into deeper layers of human skin and roams around until it dies, which can take anything form a couple of weeks to a year.  The itching and the redness are caused by an allergic response of the person to the larva or its by-products.

Tea tree oil helps for the itching. To kill the worm,  thiabendazole comes up as the drug of choice on most internet sites . It can be taken as a pill or applied as an ointment.   In this area the ‘Hluhluwe-pharmacy-blue-sandworm- remedy’ has time and again done the trick for me (I keep a bottle or two in my dispensary to save you driving all the way).  The active ingredient of this remedy is Albendazole.  Chris, the pharmacist from Kozi Bay Pharmacy uses levamasol as a topical application.  If you are a barefooter with thick soles the topical application often does not penetrate and does not work. In this case, ask your pharmacist for Bendex, Albendazole in a pill form. It is a sceduled drug, so dont take it lightly.

Raised red blister like rash that can itch like crazy.  The itching is worse at night when the larvae are more active.

Raised red blister like rash that can itch like crazy. The itching is worse at night when the larvae are more active.

This is what the mouth of the adult hookworm looks like. It attaches to your dog or cat’s intestines and sucks blood like a leech.  You can understand why it is called hookworm when you have a look at those hooks.

This is what the mouth of the adult hookworm looks like. It attaches to your dog or cat’s intestines and sucks blood like a leech. You can understand why it is called hookworm when you have a look at those hooks.

Images are from: http://www.okawvetclinic.com/site/view/124892_WormsandOtherInternalParasites.pml%3Bjsessionid=wefhu9p8gxc

Other sites used:

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/998709-overview Ancylostoma caninum
(dog)

About these ads

4 Responses to “Ever wondered what Sandworm is?”


  1. 1 scuba centre ben
    August 30, 2009 at 3:02 am

    good work girl. i’ve had little success with the blue juice of death I think cos my beach foot skin is too thick. however albendazole tablets from the hlhluhwe pharmacist have worked every time.

    take them at night, nezt morning dead worm.

    b e n
    x x x

  2. 2 racehorse
    February 7, 2011 at 10:12 am

    have a sand worm on each ball of my foot, itchy itchy dont know how i picked this up, my dogs are all up todate with deworming….unbearable itch…going to use thiabendazole in ointment form…hoping for quick relief..night time is worse even put my feet on frozen blocks to stop the itching

  3. 3 philip potts
    November 16, 2011 at 12:12 am

    I used to get sandworms all the time when I was a child our treatment was the hot and cold method hold a mosquito coil or gigarette lit of course close to the infected area for as long as you can stand it then apply ice to the same spot rotate doing that for some minutes it generally used to work

  4. December 27, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Thanks for this insightful post. I was in Sodwana about 2 weeks ago and was warned to be careful of sandworm. Unfortunately I picked it up and it has been driving me crazy. Attached to my little toe and working its way up. My ttoe started with an itch, then a blister at the end of the toe and a clear track of about 1.5cm under the skin. Will be visiting the pharamacy tomorrow to try and get some of the ointment you suggest. I have however applied Advantan fatty ointment in the evenings, which helps tremendously for the itch and effects of infections on the skin.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Twitter Updates

  • Having lots of fun with structure going up over the caravan.(thanks Mikael and Andgie the two architecture volunteers) 2 years ago
  • Andgie and Mikael made rice milk. I had home made rice milk chocolate. Yum. 2 years ago
  • Experimenting with blanket cooking and bottling beans. 3 years ago
  • Erin is making ripples into the community with her circle garden concept. 3 years ago
  • John has changed the soil scape of the garden with loads of 'the shit' 3 years ago

Categories

August 2009
M T W T F S S
« Jun   Sep »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: