Delusional infestations: clinical presentation, diagnosis and treatment.

Authors:
Misha M Heller
Misha M Heller
University of California
United States
Jillian W Wong
Jillian W Wong
University of Utah School of Medicine
Salt Lake City | United States
Eric S Lee
Eric S Lee
University of Arizona
United States
Barry Ladizinski
Barry Ladizinski
Duke University Medical Center
United States
Timothy G Berger
Timothy G Berger
University of California
United States

Int J Dermatol 2013 Jul;52(7):775-83

Transitional Year Medicine Program, Harbor-UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Patients with delusional infestations (DI), previously named delusions of parasitosis, have a fixed, false belief that they are infested with living or non-living pathogens. Patients have abnormal cutaneous symptoms such as itching, biting, or crawling sensations. They often demonstrate self-destructive behavior in an effort to rid the pathogens from under their skin, leading to excoriations, ulcerations, and serious secondary infections. This review article aims to provide an overview of DI including its clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment. Strategies on how to establish a strong therapeutic alliance with DI patients are discussed. In addition, antipsychotic medications used in the treatment of DI are described.

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July 2013
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