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Br J Dermatol. 1981 Nov;105(5):587-9.

Dermatitis artefacta induced in a patient by one of her multiple personalities.


A young woman suffered for 5 weeks with an inexplicable, severe dermatitis limited to her left arm. During hospitalization it was found that she had multiple personalities, one of whom had been applying the leaves of the poison ivy plant each night to her left arm, using 'his' gloved right hand. The factitial nature of the dermatitis was further documented by the fact that when the 'responsible personality' was cut off from supplies of poison ivy in the hospital, 'he' produced factitious haematomas by trauma to her left hand. Although this appears to be the first report of dermatitis artefacta associated with the multiple personality disorder, it is suggested that psychiatric study of other dermatitis artefacta patients might reveal the presence of unsuspected occult multiple personalities, responsible for skin lesions that patients cannot explain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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