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March 23, 1994

Furuncular Myiasis: Alternatives to Bacon Therapy

JAMA. 1994;271(12):901. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510360025016

To the Editor.  —I read with interest the article by Brewer et al1 about myiasis.It was a common problem when I lived in Zimbabwe, Zaire, and Gabon where it is recommended to let clothes and bed linen dry indoors and to iron them when possible as is mentioned in the article. The well-known treatment to extract the larvae is a thick application of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) in order to cut the air supply and make the larvae migrate out of the skin. This usually occurs within a few minutes, and the transparency of the petroleum jelly allows one to watch the egress and catch the larvae. I understand that any substance can block the air supply but I doubt bacon therapy will be successful or feasible in the Muslim countries throughout Africa and Asia, and I wanted to remind readers of the current therapy in endemic areas.