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Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 1986 Oct;1(4):340-53.

The presentation and treatment of delusional parasitosis: a dermatological perspective.


A postal survey of dermatologists identified 365 patients with a presumptive diagnosis of delusional parasitosis. One hundred and forty-four dermatologists had seen at least 1 such patient in the previous 5 years and 78 were current. The data provided on 53 patients who met the study criteria were examined in more detail. Racial origin, marital status and age at presentation varied widely. Females predominated in the older age-groups, but there was an equal sex distribution under the age of 50. Abnormal personality traits were commonly identified, especially of the obsessional type. Physical disorders associated with pruritus co-existed in a substantial minority. Previous dermatological and psychiatric disorders were uncommon and non-specific. The disorder was often, though not invariably, of long duration. Relatively few patients were successfully referred to psychiatrists. Dermatologists often treated the disorder effectively, especially when neuroleptic agents were employed. Pimozide appeared to be particularly helpful in many patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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