Delusional Parasitosis

Delusional parasitosis is also known as Ekbom’s syndrome or delusional infestation. Karl-Axel Ekbom, a Swedish neurologist, published a number of studies regarding this disease from 1937 to 1938. People with this condition falsely believe that they are infested with bugs and most of them hallucinate that parasites are crawling under or on their skin. Thus, they may resort to self-injury to get rid of the perceived bugs. Many of the patients manifest the “matchbox sign”; evidence such as small particles on their skin or clothing are collected and put into a small container such as a matchbox to prove that they are indeed “infested”. Delusional parasitosis has no known specific cause; it has been observed to be more common among those who are older than 40 and females.

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