VAUGHAN FLEMING / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VAUGHAN FLEMING / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Chigoe flea and eggs being squeezed from the skin of the foot. The chigoe flea (Tunga penetrans) is found in the tropical Americas and Africa. The female burrows into the skin, usually preferring sites on the soles of the feet, between the toes or, most painfully, under the toe nails. Normally only 1mm in length, the pregnant female then begins to swell, sometimes reaching 1cm across. The inflamed skin surrounding the chigger is painful and itchy. Secondary infection and ulceration may occur and tetanus or gangrene are occasional complications. Chigoe fleas are also known as chiggers, jiggers and sand fleas.
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