Friday, January 27, 2012

Mysterious skin disorder is probably a delusion

Morgellons disease is associated with strange skin lesions, with patients reporting feelings of bugs crawling up their skin. Though people diagnosed with the disease, which is actually not recognized as a distinct medical condition, have shown to possess skin lesions, the source remained unknown. That is why many clinicians think morgellons disease is actually a psychological manifestation. A study by the CDC has shown this may indeed be the case, shedding light on this mysterious skin disorder.

The Center for Disease Control, an important American institute, investigated patients in order to come up with the underlying cause of morgellons. Though not actually reaching a definite conclusion, they were able to exclude many things, leaving a psychological disorder as the most likely cause. One of the most striking features of morgellons is patients reporting fiber-like outgrowths from their skin. While that sounds creepy, the CDC researchers claim they are likely just fibers derived from clothing. It does not tell us much about the origin of the painful lesions, but the scientists have at least shown that a delusional component to morgellons is likely.
A skin lesion.
After examining the patients, environmental or infectious causes were ruled out, leaving a delusion as the most probable option. Though perhaps not unexpectedly, patients have objected against the study, claiming their disease is not an illusion. Some researchers and clinicians agree that there is more to morgellons than just an illusion. Psychological problems may be caused by the sensations of bugs crawling up your skin and leaving painful lesions. In the words of a clinician treating patients with morgellons: "If you had these fibers coming out of your skin, wouldn't you go a little nuts?".

More research
Though the CDC study rules out some causes of morgellons, the debate is far from over. Despite a psychological component being likely, there still is the problem of unexplained skin lesions. It is intriguing how something can leave physical and painful marks, yet we are unable to find it. It calls for more studies, which are undoubtedly already underway.

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