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Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2004 Sep-Oct;70(5):296-7.

Folie a Famille: delusional parasitosis affecting all the members of a family.

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University of Newcastle and Hunter Mental Health, Newcastle, NSW-2300, Australia.


Delusional parasitosis (Ekbom syndrome) is an uncommon psychiatric disorder that presents with a delusion of being infested with parasites. Treatment of this condition is difficult as patients with this paranoid disorder reject psychiatric diagnosis and treatment and often consult a dermatologist. Sharing the delusional beliefs of the paranoid patient by other people living in close emotional bonding with him/her could occur. We report here the clinically interesting phenomenon of delusion of parasitosis occurring simultaneously in all the members of a family. There was a pathological bonding between the members of the family who all presented to the dermatologist and rejected treatment. Dermatologists need to be aware of this uncommon clinical picture.

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