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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Aug;71(2):376-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2013.12.028. Epub 2014 Mar 6.

Munchausen syndrome and Munchausen syndrome by proxy in dermatology.

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Department of Medicine (Dermatology), Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee; Department of Pathology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. Electronic address:
Department of Medicine (Dermatology), Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.


Patients with Munchausen syndrome purposefully injure themselves, often with the injection of foreign materials, to gain hospital admission and the attention associated with having a difficult-to-identify condition. Munchausen syndrome by proxy occurs when a child's caregiver, typically the mother, injures the child for the same reasons. Cases of Munchausen syndrome and Munchausen syndrome by proxy with primary cutaneous involvement appear to be rarely described in the literature suggesting either that diagnosis is not made readily or that it is, in fact, an uncommon disorder. At the center of both conditions is significant psychological pathology and treatment is difficult as many patients with Munchausen syndrome when confronted with these diagnostic possibilities simply leave the hospital. Little is known about the long-term outcome or prognosis of these patients.


Munchausen syndrome; Munchausen syndrome by proxy; factitious disorders; panniculitis; psychiatric disease; psychoanalysis

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