I get many, many emails from people. Some of these emails (and comments) say things like “I think I have a dangerous parasite” or “worms are coming out of my skin” and requesting my help in diagnosing their illness. I am sympathetic. But:
I will not diagnose you over the internet.
My first advice will always be “SEE YOUR DOCTOR.”
Seriously. If you have a medical condition that is causing you enough distress to contact a random person on the internet and tell them details about your anus or other bodily orifices, it’s time to visit the doctor.
If your current doctor isn’t helping you, try a new doctor. Some are better than others.
I’m sorry to be blunt. I have eczema, and I certainly understand the difficulty of an endless itch that never goes away and never gets better. But I’m afraid I can’t tell you what might have bitten you, or what might be living under your skin.
Some helpful resources:
- Mayo Clinic Info on Dermatitis (Skin irritations and inflamations)
- A list of plants that cause skin problems (PDF)
- The truth about “alternative” therapies for dermatitis
- Brochures on stuff you might contact at work that cause skin problems
- There are still some parasitic worms in the US; although odds are against your being infected if you are an adult. Well, unless you eat sushi.
- A PDF covering some causes of unexplained skin problems (don’t be put off by the title)
If you send me unsolicited photos of your body, I will POST THEM ON TWITTER WITH YOUR EMAIL AND NAME ATTACHED. You have been warned. I’ve been nice about this for several years, and I have decided it’s time to stop.
No more photos of your oozing scrotum, your nose pustules, moths in your hairy ear wax, of anything in your whatever. I don’t care what bit you and where.
Go see a doctor.
Please do not call me at my work phone or contact me via my official work email at Purdue University.