Itchy Skin Malady Is Imaginary: Mayo Clinic
Morgellons sufferers think they have parasites, but researchers disagree
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2011 3:47 PM CDT
Morgellons sufferers are not infested by parasites, say Mayo Clinic researchers.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – This may or may not be good news to those who suffer from a malady known collectively as Morgellons disease. Patients swear they have bugs, or parasites, or something just below the skin that triggers intense itching. Mayo Clinic researchers, however, now say it's mostly in their heads, reports the Los Angeles Times. After examining 108 skin samples, researchers concluded the patients probably had a psychological disorder known as "delusional parasitosis."

“When we looked at what they brought in and when we looked under the microscope, we never found a parasite,” says study author Mark Davis, according to WebMD. The various rashes and oozing and other unpleasantries cited as evidence by sufferers can be chalked up to common ailments such as dermatitis, possibly made worse by scratching, instead of any sort of infestation.

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Comments
Showing 3 of 9 comments
wd56
May 18, 2011 12:28 AM CDT
Damnit I just read the itchy part in the title and now am itchy all over....
onbeshero
May 17, 2011 9:47 PM CDT
Ten years from now they will discover a disease linked to parasites that causes skin irritation and one of the big pharms will have an expensive new pill for this "new" malady.
BlueAyez
May 17, 2011 5:59 PM CDT
Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there. For instance bird mites don't stay on the body but their droppings make skin itch for hours afterward.