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Int J Dermatol. 1998 Jan;37(1):56-63.

An approach to the treatment of psychogenic parasitosis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, USA.



Patients with psychogenic parasitosis typically seek help from nonpsychiatric physicians and can be difficult and time-consuming to treat. Pimozide has been promoted as the treatment of choice but is not indicated for every patient presenting with this symptom. Our purpose was to develop a realistic treatment protocol for the nonpsychiatric physician faced with these patients.


Using what is known about this problem through review of the literature and our own experience with 20 patients, a practical treatment strategy is suggested.


It is proposed that dermatologists and primary care professionals seeing these patients determine (1) whether or not the patient's belief in infestation is shakable and (2) whether or not the patient is depressed, in order to chose a therapeutic plan.


Dermatologists and psychiatrists can work together to develop treatment protocols that minimize risk and maximize therapy for patients with psychogenic parasitosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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