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What is Morgellons Disease?

By J. Beam
Updated May 17, 2024
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Morgellons disease is the name given to a skin disorder or disease, similar to scabies, that has yet to receive widespread medical acceptance. The name Morgellons disease was coined by the Morgellons Research Foundation (MRF), which chose the name based on French literature of the 17th century describing a similar condition in children. The purpose of naming Morgellons disease was to give a definitive name to a condition that many people appear to suffer from without a conclusive diagnosis.

Though not yet medically confirmed, the MRF issued an initial case definition to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in February of 2006. The MRF continues to clinically and scientifically study Morgellons disease in hopes to find a concrete way to diagnose and treat the disease. As of the issue of their case definition, nearly all adults suffering from Morgellons disease have received a diagnosis of Delusional Parasitosis and have received no alleviation of symptoms.

The symptoms of Morgellons disease seem to vary somewhat between patients. However, certain symptoms of the suspected disease are consistent. The primary consistent symptoms of Morgellons disease include the appearance of skin lesions, some of which may be self-generated due to intense or extreme itching. These skin lesions are reported to contain unexplained “fibers” or granules. Patients also consistently complain of a “crawling sensation” in the skin and less frequently, but strangely reported by patients with similar symptoms, the presence of unconfirmed parasites. It is because of the crawling sensation and suspected presence of parasites coupled with reported mental affects that a majority of patients are diagnosed with Delusional Parasitosis, a psychological disorder rather than a physical one.

The MRF, while continuing its studies of Morgellons disease, is making a widespread effort to gain medical acceptance of this condition. During 2006, the MRF, together with the media, aired television specials centered around Morgellons disease, its sufferers and the hope that further research will result in the ability to both clinically diagnose and treat this mysterious disease.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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