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Dermatology Online Journal

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Morgellons disease: insights into treatment


Morgellons disease is a disfiguring and distressing condition. Patients commonly present with multiple, non-healing, cutaneous wounds. Patients report protruding fibers or other objects as the source and often provide samples to the clinician. Originally the etiology of this condition was broad and debated ranging from infectious to psychiatric. This article reviews current treatments and details our approach to treatment, aiming to aid clinicians with useful pharmacotherapy and adherence techniques when treating patients with Morgellons disease. Although current opinions have consolidated to the psychiatric spectrum, Morgellons treatment remains difficult and unstandardized with most evidence from retrospective reviews and a handful of case reports. Having considerable overlap with delusions of parasitosis, treatments have consisted of various antipsychotics and antibacterial wound care. Many antipsychotics have been selected owing to additional antipruritic or analgesic benefits. Generally, low-doses are used to minimize the risk of side effects. Risperidone or trifluoperazine can provide relief to patients especially when paired with adjuvant therapies, strong doctor-patient relationships, and a multidisciplinary approach.

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