Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

No objective evidence of skin infestation apparent in patients with diagnosis of delusional infestation

Date:
May 17, 2011
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Among patients with a diagnosis of delusional skin infestation, neither biopsies nor patient-provided specimens provided objective evidence of skin infestation, according to a new study.

Among patients with a diagnosis of delusional skin infestation, neither biopsies nor patient-provided specimens provided objective evidence of skin infestation, according to a report posted online that will be published in the September issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Delusional infestation is a condition in which patients steadfastly yet mistakenly believe that pathogens are infesting their skin. Sometimes, patients believe their skin is literally crawling with bugs, worms, or germs, which is also known as "delusions of parasitosis." In other cases, patients perceive that inanimate objects such as wood chips, fibers, or little tubes are involved. While case reports and small case series of these reports exist, there has not been much formal study of the validity of the specimens, whether derived from biopsies or provided by the patients themselves.

Sara A. Hylwa, B.S., and colleagues from the Mayo Medical School and Mayo Clinic in Rochester , Minn. conducted a retrospective review of delusional infestation cases seen at the Mayo Clinic between 2001 and 2007. Of the 108 patients included in this study, 80 received biopsies, 80 provided self-procured specimens, and 52 had both. Among the materials reported to be infesting the skin were bugs (79%), worms, eggs, fibers, "specks," "triangles," and gravel or grainlike material.

None of the biopsies showed evidence of infestation, the authors report. Sixty-one percent did reveal dermatitis and nearly half (48%) exhibited excoriation, ulceration or erosion of the skin. Of the patient-provided specimens, one-fourth of which were examined by a pathologist, only one contained an infesting parasite -- a pubic louse that was determined not to be responsible for the symptoms reported.

The authors write that the results suggest that in cases of delusional infestation, biopsies may not overturn the diagnosis: "This study is important for patients. Patients frequently believe that physicians are dismissive of their concerns and are not examining their skin closely enough, and therefore patients request that more testing be performed." In conclusion, the authors note, "The majority of skin biopsy results did show dermatitis, raising the possibility that skin inflammation and its attendant tactile discomfort might be the trigger provoking delusional symptoms in susceptible individuals."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sara A. Hylwa; Jessica E. Bury; Mark D. P. Davis; Mark Pittelkow; J. Michael Bostwick. Delusional Infestation, Including Delusions of Parasitosis: Results of Histologic Examination of Skin Biopsy and Patient-Provided Skin Specimens. Archives of Dermatology, 2011; DOI: 10.1001/archdermatol.2011.114

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "No objective evidence of skin infestation apparent in patients with diagnosis of delusional infestation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516161837.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2011, May 17). No objective evidence of skin infestation apparent in patients with diagnosis of delusional infestation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516161837.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "No objective evidence of skin infestation apparent in patients with diagnosis of delusional infestation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516161837.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins