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Dermatol Online J. 2008 Jun 15;14(6):2.

Delusional disorders in dermatology: a brief review.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA, USA.


There are several unique psychiatric disorders that are likely to present to a dermatologist because of their accompanying skin complaints. Delusions of parasitosis (DP) is a fixed, false belief of parasitic infestation that may lead patients to compulsively self-mutilate while attempting to remove the non-existent parasites. Morgellons disease is a controversial condition characterized by a fixed belief that fibers that are imbedded or extruding from the skin; this condition is likely in the spectrum of DP. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a preoccupation with an imagined defect in appearance that causes significant distress and is associated with time consuming rituals, isolation, depression, and increased risk of suicide. Olfactory reference syndrome (ORS) is a preoccupation with body odor leading to the stigmata of shame, embarrassment, and social isolation. This brief review examines each of these conditions and their management because any one of them may present to a dermatologist.

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