Tungiasis: is caused by the chigger (a pregnant female flea) that penetrates the skin (especially near the toenail) to lay eggs.

The flea releases enzymes to weaken skin (so it doesn't have to burrow to penetrate skin).

Their enzyme causes local pain, swelling, and itchiness.

Sometimes gangrene or a generalized infection may develop.

Diagnosis is confirmed when the skin is removed showing the flea with her eggs.

Use a sterile surgical technique to remove these fleas.

Their wounds are very prone to infection, so coverage with an antibiotic is recommended.

Chiggers occur in Central and South America, Western India and Africa. Tungiasis tends to be seasonal when vegetation is lush and their fleas are more active.

Risk factors to getting bitten are walking barefoot or sitting or lying on the ground.

Bathing feet in hot water also will remove them before they enter themselves.

Footwear is obviously the best protection.

Tungiasis links

Stanford Education http://www.stanford.edu/class/humbio103/ParaSites2001/tungiasis/index.html