Morgellons disease (MD) is the informal name of a rare and poorly understood disorder of unexplained origin that causes the formation of skin lesions along with filamentous growths.This particular condition is rather controversial as a result of the conditions under which it first came to public attention.
How Do I Recognise It?
Morgellons disease is generally associated with insidious onset. It exhibits the following symptoms:
- Skin lesions. These are painful, slow to heal, cause intense itching and leave behind red scars. It is thought that these might occur as result of compulsive picking of the skin.
- Long fiber-like projections from the skin. These appear to have a subcutaneous origin and may be associated with hair follicles as well as the skin lesions mentioned above.
- Abnormal sensation. Patients typically complain of crawling sensations almost as though insects or parasites might be crawling, moving or stinging beneath the skin.
- Musculoskeletal symptoms. Joint and muscle pain.
- Neurological symptoms. This includes headaches, changes in vision, ringing in the ears, short-term loss of memory and difficulty in concentrating.
- Cardiovascular symptoms. The patient may experience elevated blood pressure and increased heart rate.
- Respiratory symptoms. Coughing and shortness of breath.
- Hair loss.
- Inability to sleep
- Loss of teeth.
MD is a disfiguring and distressing condition. Self-diagnosed patients may be further distressed by the difficulty in obtaining a diagnosis that confirms their own.
- Based on the presentation of symptoms such as skin sores, filamentous projections, abnormal sensations and neurological symptoms the condition may be considered to be an instance of MD, although this term is not formally recognized.
- The blood may be tested for signs of infection.
- Samples of skin containing filaments may be analyzed.
- A psychiatric evaluation may also be relevant in order to identify other co-existing conditions.
- The patient may also have a history of drug use that can sometimes induce compulsive skin picking.
Treatment & Prevention
The following procedures are used to deal with cases of Morgellons disease:
- If your doctor concludes that a bacterial infection is causing the infection, then antibiotics might be prescribed to treat the skin condition.
- If the patient is showing symptoms of stress and anxiety, then anti-anxiety drugs and/or psychotherapy may be suggested.