Types Of Common Skin Parasites In Humans And Their Symptoms

A parasite is an organism that lives inside the body or on the skin surface of a host. It depends on the other living organism for food and shelter. Parasites infect over billions of human beings all over the globe. Skin parasites in humans are tiny organisms that burrow into the skin and reside there temporarily or permanently till they live. These tiny worms or insects enter in the skin either directly or through a vector.

There is range of common skin parasites such as bedbugs, lice, chiggers, crabs etc. All of them produce some of the familiar symptoms such as intense itching and skin rash.

Adults as well as children can get infested with skin parasites. Overcrowding and poor hygiene increases the incidence.

The single most effective method of cure remains conventional medicines. However, there are number of home remedies that are equally effective to relieve the symptoms as well as destroy the organisms.

Symptoms Of Common Skin Parasites In Humans

Most skin parasitic infections are caused due to insects, mites and worms. Sometimes parasites that inhabit inside the intestine and other areas can produce cutaneous manifestation. Below are given some of the common skin parasites:

Bedbugs: They are tiny insects that live on the blood of human and other animals.

They are so named because they usually reside in the crevices of bed mattresses, cushions, and bed frame. They also hide in dark places of a mud house and roof. They creep at night from their hiding place on the exposed area of skin. They suck blood and after a meal return back to the cracks and crevices.


  • Symptoms appear soon or few hours after the bite.
  • The bitten area becomes red, swollen with a dark red spot in the center.
  • Formation of hives at the site of bite.
  • Bites are often present on the exposed area of the body.
  • Severe itching after bite or few days after the blood meal.
  • Bites are in linear pattern.
  • Bite marks vanish after one week.
  • Intense scratching can cause secondary bacterial infection.

Scabies: Scabies is an infestation caused by the itch mite called sarcoptes scabi. It is essentially a disease of children but sometimes affecting adults. The mites are transmitted from close intimate contact with an infected person. Poor hygiene, overcrowding, humid climate, and low temperature increase the risk of growth and spread of this microorganism.


  • Intense itching in the affected site is the hallmark of the scabies infection.
  • Itching is worse at night.
  • The rash or the bumps typically involves finger webs, wrist, folds of elbow and underarm, genitals, buttocks and on female nipple and areola. In young children the lesions are also present on scalp, face, palms, and soles,
  • In the beginning burrows produced are visible as thin wavy thread like dark line. The mite is seen as a thin white dot in the open end after scratching.
  • Intense scratching can cause secondary bacterial infection.

Lice Infection: Pediculosis or lice infection is caused by tiny blood sucking wingless insects. There are three types of lice; the head lice, present on scalp and hair, the body lice and the pubic lice which primarily infests the hair in pubic area and anus.


  • Severe itching over the infested area of skin is the classical symptoms of lice.
  • Head lice are mostly seen in girls and women. It can be seen if you move a fine tooth comb on wet hair and over the scalp. The eggs are attached to the hair.
  • Poor hygiene and overcrowding are the risk factors.
  • Severe itching and red rash in the pubic area in case of pubic lice infestation.