I have been suffering for almost two months with an ever increasing itchy rash. It started with a small patch of rash on my wrist and several weeks later another small patch on my hip and lower leg. As soon as the rash started, I tried cortisone cream. After a week of that not working, I tried a topical antibiotic and then an antifungal cream. The antifungal cream seemed to help a little. After about a month of this rash, I ended up out of the blue with too frequent urination (every hour). So then I started thinking the rash and the frequent urination might be an STD or urinary tract infection. I went and got checked but the Dr. didn't find any significant amount of bacteria but gave me medicine for a urinary tract infection and yeast infection anyway. I used the medicines and felt some relief. A few days later, I was waking up with mosquito bite type marks on my upper legs and rear. The original 3 rash spots started to spread. Each day I kept waking up with new bites, welts or rashes that weren't there when I went to sleep. The bites started to itch terribly and I was feeling hot quite a lot. I got on the internet to see if maybe bedbugs were the source of my problem. So I did my homework on the internet about bedbugs. I thought maybe that was what was bothering me. My husband didn't seem to be affected despite being in the same bed.
So my search of the bed and common living areas began for this elusive biting source that was making me afraid to go to sleep. I could not find anything. Each day I would have new bites, rashes or welts. I decided to get a vinyl mattress cover and also bought bedbug/lice spray to spray around the bed and furniture. When I went to spray the mattress before placing the cover on, I did notice about eight little black pepper type dots on the stitching near the top of the mattress. I sprayed and vacuumed those up. The next morning I woke up with bites again, despite being in long pjs and socks. I would get up in the middle of the night with a flashlight to see if I could catch anything in the bed. Nothing. Then the itching started. The most terrible itch anyone can imagine. Picture a dog when he scratches and his tongue is hanging out...that type of itch. I noticed it was worse at night and after a hot shower. Now an alarm bell went off in my head. Oh, please, please don't let this be scabies...I had these 20 years ago. I picked them up from my boyfriend who had them for a while on his feet and ankles. It took almost 6 months before I showed any symptoms, but once they were there, I had them everywhere on my body (from neck down). I remeber that itch, it was the worse I ever felt and would make me want to tear my flesh away, it's horrible. I've had dry skin rashes all my life and know how to ignore an itch but the itch of scabies, can NOT be ignored. We don't currently have medical insurance so I went looking for an OTC medicine for scabies. No luck. I knew that meant a trip to a doctor that we could not afford. I did end up at the Dr.'s office and told him I thought I might have scabies, because of the rash and the itching which was worse between 2am and 8am. It came almost the same time each night. I couldn't sleep. The Dr. said it wasn't scabies that it didn't fit the TYPICAL appearance of a scabies rash and that scabies usually occurs in an area and spreads evenly and progressively in a direction on the body. I knew this was bull because when I had them, I got them everywhere, except my face, hands, feet, and hair. He said he was sure it was a ringworm fungus and then said to use a topical antifungal cream for that. I had already been doing that. He said he'd give me a STRONGER medicine and that should clear it up. I went home with the expensive cream that I was supposed to use 2x per day till gone. I used the cream for 2 days and the cream was gone. I ordered a refill double dose and that lasted 4 days. It helped a little on the rashes but then I would wake up with new ones. I was so itchy and desperate that I decided to try drastic measures. I got Clorox Cleanup and squirted it on my body. I have sensitive skin and it burned like heck. I could only stand the pain for about 30 seconds and then I washed it off. It completely irritated the rashes to the point that it hurt to touch the skin. I started washing all the bedding everyday, thinking that the fungus was re-infecting me. The rash in some spots began to dry slightly but they were painful. I called the Dr. after a week and told him that the antifungal wasn't working and requested a scabies prescription.. I asked him to prescribe extra so that I could treat myself and my husband. He told me couldn't prescribe extra (even though we are paying out of our pocket with no insurance). I was PO'd. How can a Dr. think that I could be cured by only treating myself and not my bed partner. I treated both of us anyway with the 5% Permethrin cream from face down. We washed and vacuumed. I felt a little better the next day, but by day 3, rash was spreading again.
The itching became so intense and continued to spread, so I treated again with 5% Permethrin cream about 6 days after the first treatment. I even tried to spread some cream on my scalp. For the past 2 months since the rash first started, I noticed that I was losing a lot of hair, especially from one spot on the top back of my head. I didn't know what else to do, I kept waking up with rashes, bites and the terrible uncontrollable itching and was no longer sleeping. I could feel a pin prick in areas around my body at night and then sometimes, I got the sensation of something crawling on me. It was horrible. One of the rashes on my lower leg had grown into another rashy spot and was now a huge patch of irritated, darkened, dried skin that made it hard for me to walk. It was horribly painful. Since the scabies medicine didn't seem to be working, I was at a loss for what it might be. When I had scabies 20 years ago, it never spread this fast and didn't hurt like this rash hurts. I also never got it in my hair or private areas. This rash is down there the worst. I feel sometimes like things are actually crawling from down there. Yuk! By this time, I am back on the internet trying to figure out what the heck is crawling on me. Maybe this is not scabies, then what the HECK is this? I was delirious with lack of sleep. However, I did find an extensive amount of people with the same symptoms. That was somewhat comforting because I have started to question my sanity. So now I belong to the mysteriously bitten club. Can I please get a refund on my membership? This sucks...Okay I knew I needed to go back to the Dr. again because I was out of ideas. At this time I had some other unpleasant symptoms. I got nausea one day and chills and night sweats, all the time feeling like things are crawling and biting me. Then I got to thinking that if I can't find the source of the bite, the things might actually be on me but invisible. So before I paid for another Dr.s visit, I went to Toys R US and bought a microscope that had a digital camera with it. That night I stayed up, determined to find the culprit for this. I still was convinced that something was crawling and biting me. I also read that Dr.s have Poo Pooed this as a type of psychosis. I also noticed as several people have also noted that, I am the only one getting bit and itchy and that it seems to be worse in the chair at the computer. So I did my homework and sat there at the computer with a wide roll of very sticky packing tape. As soon as I would feel a bite, I immediately put a piece of tape around the bite and then made sure it was stuck to the skin well and took it off and folded the tape in half so that if by chance there was something there, it wouldn't crawl out of the tape. I did this about 8 different times on different parts of my body including my scalp which has begun to itch terribly as well. What I found...
The photos aren't the best, can't afford a top of the line microscope, all the money is going to medicines and Dr. visits. The first night I did this, each spot that I got bit on did yield the same filament type organism in all areas of my body. It kind of looks like a piece of string. Most were the same size and a few were longer. They had to be seen under the microscope at 900x magnification. There were not a lot of these, just here and there where I felt the bite sensation. There were also, a few oval or round looking organisms that I think now may be eggs. They were difficult to see. I found it strange that each place I felt the bite sensation I would find these filaments in the skin tissue on the tape. Initially, I didn't do a skin tape test on any parts where I was not bitten so these could have been some sort of fiber that was on my body. The only thing I found strange was that they were similar in size and shape despite coming from different parts of my body. I have heard of morgellons but didn't know much about it. My first thought was maybe these are bacteria or tiny worms. I have not been well for almost 5 years now. I get re-occurring bouts with my lungs and coughing and swelling of my hands and feet, as well as stomach problems and headaches. just don't have much energy anymore. The Dr.'s I had when I had insurance weren't the best and failed to find a diagnosis. All that kept coming back abnormal was a couple of blood tests. So, I was thinking, is it possible that a parasitic worm could live under human skin? Could this be the source of the rash or maybe my re-occurring sickness. I'm not a microbiologist, so I looked into it on the internet. It turns out there are parasitic worms that do live under the skin and migrate on the host. They are not common but they do occur. So I printed my photos and put them on a jump drive and went to the Dr. I wanted to give proof that there was something under my skin that was causing sickness and irritation. The photos weren't the best but the re-occurring fiber like substance was present in each of the bite areas, also there were sometimes black round spots. You can view the photos at:
So I went to the Dr. armed with my photos because I was feeling terrible, headache, nausea, bloating. The rash was getting worse and I was developing a cough. I asked the doctor if there could possibly be a parasite that could live under the skin that could produce my symptoms. Since we had already tried the antifungal and scabies treatment. He asked if I had done any international traveling and I said I had gone to Aruba a few years ago and some domestic travel as well. He thought I should be tested for Parasites and Their Eggs. I was thinking the same thing since I was so sick. He wanted to check in particular for a parasite that can auto re-infect a person that has the worms that crawl under the skin. I have been ill for about 5 years now and when I had insurance, I didn't have the best doctors so I was never diagnosed with anything. The only thing they found was an abnormality in my jaw and some granulomas in my lungs and 2 blood tests that kept coming back abnormal without explanation.
Many of the symptoms of this particular parasite, I have had. The mortality rate of this parasite is around 33% to 90%. Most people get diagnosed with it the day they check into an emergency room and then die shortly thereafter. Since the risk was high the longer treatment was delayed and the side effects are few, I asked to receive the medicine before the results came back. The doctor gave me Ivermectin to take, it turns out this is the same medicine that is used at times for Scabies. Two days later I was still getting bit and itching, especially on my scalp. I took out my handy dandy microscope and did the packing tape thing again on different parts of my body. One piece of tape that I placed over one of the most affected areas, above my rear, yielded a series of what appeared to be tracks, possibly from droppings or eggs. The trail was evenly spaced. I followed the trail with my microscope and at the end of the trail, I found a cluster of about 6 or 7 bugs on top of each other. They had to be viewed at 300x magnification. The bugs appear to sometimes be moving in a line together, which would explain the crawling sensation I would get. There is another photo that clearly shows a bug with two antennae or legs in front and two sets of legs off the body. There was fecal matter around as well. Gross, under my skin. Now wonder why I'm sick. I now have one in my left ear and can hear movement from there when the bugs get active. I am wondering now what type of bug this may be. Since so many of the scabie type treatments haven't worked, I'm wondering if this is a whole different bug. I had scabies once before but there was just a rash and a terrible itch, never the crawling or biting sensation. It seems to help to put antifungal cream on sometimes but it still doesn't get rid of the pests. I was thinking it was scabies, so I emailed my doctor and asked for the scabies treatment again and something for my hair because it was itching from bites too. I couldn't attach a photo for the doctor but I wanted him to see these bugs so he could see that there was definitely something there. The next day I checked for prescriptions online and found he had prescribed 3 medications. One steroid cream, some moisturizing lotion and another medication I was unfamiliar with but no scabies medicine. I looked it up online, it was an anti-psychotic drug. I was so angry, here I was with definitive proof that there really were bugs under my skin and wanted him to see them and try to identify them, so we would know what to do to treat them. If they aren't scabies, then what are they? He never even looked at the photos. I've had scabies once before and I will never forget the itch, well this itch was even worse. Now I am still suffering, angry and trying alternative methods for treating whatever is bugging me. If anyone can help me to identify the bugs in the photo, please do so. These were definitely under my skin in different places. So now I just want them gone and can't get any medicine to make them go away because my Dr. says that Typically, if it was Scabies it would be gone after the cream application. But these are in my hair and I need to keep up on them so they get better and don't lay more eggs. I've had scabies before 20 years ago and never had the biting feeling that these things give. So now I wondering what type of bug this is. Here are the images: