Little scrapes, cuts, slivers and the like are rarely given the time of day by anyone, and rightly so. They don’t cause a lot of pain and in 999 cases out of 1,000, they will turn out to be completely benign. This case was that thousandth one. When a man in Sao Paulo, Brazil finally sought medical treatment for a bothersome ingrown toenail, the last thing in the world he expected was that his toe had become a home to crawling maggots.
The surgeon was performing a routine nail avulsion procedure during which pieces of nail that are digging into the patient’s skin are stripped away. This surgeon had just removed the nail and pushed out puss and blood when she made the startling discovery.
As blood poured out, two writhing maggots also made their way outside the patient’s toe.
The surgeon kept her cool, calmly picked them out and placing them down before proceeding with the rest of the procedure.
As bizarre as it may seem to Europeans, these types of discoveries aren’t uncommon in Brazil and other tropical countries. Poorly cleaned and unwrapped wounds attract bugs and flies who might then end up laying eggs in the gash. Since the skin is dead there is no pain that can alert the person that something is wrong.
Oddly enough, the maggots might actually have saved this man’s toe as they eat dead skin which can help prevent gangrene, proving once again nature’s unprecedented genius.
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