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Dermatology Online Journal

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Factitial panniculitis as a manifestation of self-imposed factitious disorder


Factitious disorder imposed on self is characterized by self-induction. Dermatitis artefacta, the cutaneous subtype of factitious disorder imposed on self, can have a variety of atypical presentations. A 36-year-old woman with an extensive past medical history presented with painful nodules on her abdomen, thighs, and arms. Histologic evaluation identified panniculitis with foreign body material seen under polarization. Chart review from previous hospital visits established a history of factitious disorder imposed on self and upon subsequent search of the hospital room, syringes with an unknown substance were found. Factitial panniculitis should be considered in cases with atypical lesions or locations that do not conform to the presentation of organic causes of panniculitis. Management should include a multidisciplinary approach that prioritizes patient safety and establishes a therapeutic patient-provider relationship.

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