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. (Read more Morgellons stories.)

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