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Friday, February 13, 2015

Diagnosis or Delusion?

Patients who say they have Morgellons point to skin lesions as proof of their disease. But doctors believe the lesions are self-inflicted—that the condition is psychological, not dermatological.

By Katherine Foley
The Atlantic
Originally published January 18, 2015

Here is an excerpt:

When patients with these symptoms seek dermatological treatment, they’re usually told that they have delusions of parasitosis, a condition in which people are falsely convinced that they’re infested with parasites—told, in other words, that the crawling, itching sensations under their skin are only in their heads, and the fibers are remnants from clothing. Still, they pick away, trying to get the feeling out. According to Casey, most doctors refuse to even examine the alleged skin fibers and only offer anti-psychotic medication as treatment. It took her three years to find a dermatologist willing to treat her in any other way, and she and her husband had to drive all the way from California to Texas to see him.

The article outlining the conundrum is here.