Morgellons disease, a rare condition, is sporadic. Morgellons disease is characterized by slow-healing, scaly skin lesions and fibers beneath or protruding from the skin. This disease can cause skin irritations such as stinging, crawling, and biting.
Morgellons disease is a poorly understood condition that has remained controversial among healthcare professionals and researchers.
Continue reading to find out more about Morgellons disease symptoms and treatments.
What is Morgellons disease?
Patients often complain about skin itching, burning, and feeling under the skin like something is crawling underneath their skin.
Morgellons disease, a delusional disorder, believes that parasites or foreign matter move in or out of the skin. Morgellons disease, a lesser-known disorder, is often associated with non-specific skin, nerve, and psychiatric symptoms.
It is sometimes called a fiber disease. This disorder is more common in people with hypothyroidism (low thyroid function). This rare condition is more common in Caucasian women between 35 and 50 years of age. Texas and California have higher rates than other states.
What is Morgellons disease? Is Morgellons disease contagious?
Patients with Lyme disease have been reported to suffer from Morgellons disease. Many doctors believe Morgellons disease may be a form of psychosis in which the patient imagines they are parasite-infested (delusional parasitosis). It is different from a diagnosis that relies on physical signs. This syndrome is not thought to be caused or aggravated by infection. It is not contagious. It has been determined that an environmental toxin does not cause this condition.
It is not known what causes Morgellons disease. Some researchers and healthcare specialists classify it as a delusional mental illness, stating that the fibers under the skin come from textiles and fabrics.
Others believe that Borrelia Burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, is responsible for Morgellons.
In a 2012 study, scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined 115 people with Morgellons disease symptoms.
Researchers performed clinical evaluations and analyzed blood and skin samples. They also reviewed each participant’s medical history. They did not discover any common medical conditions or infectious agents among study participants.
The researchers found that 43% of participants had fibrous material in at most one skin lesion. The researchers discovered that cotton was the predominant fiber in the majority of the fiber samples. They did, however, identify 19 cases of bacteria or fungi.
None of them in the study tested positive for B. burgdorferi infection.
In a 2017 case study, researchers founded the experience of a 30-year-old Korean woman who said that she had Morgellons disease. The authors report that the woman had skin lesions on her arms and hands for two months. A fibrous-like projection was also found under her skin.
The symptoms of B. burgdorferi were not evident in the woman, so her doctor recommended that she seek psychiatric treatment.
The researchers of a 2015 study did find B. burgdorferi in 24/25 participants with Morgellons disease. The authors also took skin samples from all participants and found fiber-like substances in many.
The researchers discovered that the fibers contained human skin cells after further research. The fibers were not made from fabric but hair follicles.
Morgellons disease, a rare skin condition, can cause the skin to show black, white, or blue fibers beneath or protruding from it. Its patients may also experience slow-healing skin ulcers.
Morgellons disease can also manifest as:
- Chronic or severe fatigue
- Concentration difficulties
- Memory problems
- Muscle and joint pain
- Formication is the sensation that an insect crawls on the skin, stinging and orbiting it.
- joint pain
Morgellons disease is not a common condition. There are no treatment guidelines. The underlying cause will determine the treatment.
If a doctor believes that the patient’s condition is due to a tick-borne disease or bacterial infection, they may recommend antibiotic therapy. Topical or oral antibiotics could also be used to treat skin lesions that are persistent or open.
If a doctor believes that someone’s symptoms are due to a mental condition, they may prescribe anti-anxiety and antipsychotic drugs. They might also recommend cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or talk therapy.
Morgellons disease: Who is it?
In 2018, research showed that 6 percent of Lyme disease patients also had MD. The study based on Lyme disease diagnosis data estimated that there could be more than 19,000 MD cases each year in the United States and more than 300,000 MD cases overall.
It was found that MD is more common in those who are:
- had tick-borne infections
- Were women
- Had an H. Pylori infection
Another research from 2018 has indicated that MD is a skin disease likely associated with infections from ticks. There might be a psychological thing to the disease. To better understand the condition, further research is needed.
What are the symptoms of Morgellons disease?
Multicolored fibers under the skin or sores that take a long time to heal are primary symptoms. They can appear like microfibers in clothing, as they can be red, green, or blue.
A common symptom of MD is the sensation of burning or stinging in the skin. Other symptoms of MD that may look similar to Lyme disease include:
Morgellons is a controversial condition.
There has been much controversy surrounding MD due to a lack of knowledge. While some research suggests that MD is psychological, others suggest that it is caused by infection.
They are also controversial. While some studies indicate that the body produces microscopic fibers from keratin and collagen, others believe yarns come from clothing.
Since its discovery in the 1600s, MD has been difficult to understand. “The Morgellons,” a childhood skin condition called “the Morgellons,” involved hairs and worms protruding from the skin. It led to a debate about their source.
MD sufferers have believed that their skin was infested with parasites both in the past and now. In 1946, MD was called “delusional parasitosis.” It led to the widespread belief that MD is a delusional disorder.
There is still much debate about the disease. A case report from 2019 said that most medical specialists believe MD is a delusional condition. Recent research has shown that the disease may be linked to tick-borne Borrelia burgdorferi infection.
Bovine digital dermatitis was also found in the same study. It supports MD’s status as an infectious disease. Further research is required to confirm the origins and spread of MD.
Morgellons Disease Stages
Research from 2020 described a detailed staging system for MD. Each stage of MD can be labeled as either mild, moderate, or severe.
These criteria are used to classify MD.
- Stage 1 (Early located). Fibers, lesions, or both are present for less than three months. They can only be found in one area of the body.
- Stage 2 (Early disseminated). Lesions, fibers, or both can be seen at multiple locations on the body.
- Stage 3 (Late-located): Lesions, fibers, or both are present for more than six months. They are restricted to one area of the body.
- Stage 4 (Late Disseminated). Lesions, fibers, or both are present for more than six months. They might be found in many places on the body.
Additional stages A, C, and B allow for a more thorough diagnosis.
- Stage A (mild). The skin cells look mostly normal because the filaments are so tiny.
- Stage B (moderate). Calluses and filaments can also be found in the skin. Some skin cells can look strange.
- Stage C (severe). You may develop skin ulcers (sores) if the filaments become more visible. A few skin cells may also be abnormal.
How can Morgellons disease be treated?
There are no known effective and appropriate treatment options for MD. It can be difficult to find treatment due to the disease’s controversy and the lack of knowledge.
Your doctor may prescribe ointments or antibiotics to relieve itching if they suspect MD is due to an infection. MD can also be caused by anxiety and depression. Your treatment could include counseling or medication for mental health.
However, if the doctor feels that the condition is linked to a mental disorder, they will likely prescribe therapy or medication psychiatrically.
Research suggests that holistic treatment that addresses both your skin disease and your mental health can have positive effects.
It is vital to have a long-lasting relationship with your doctor to ensure the best possible outcome.
There are currently no known treatments or products that can cure MD. There are many home remedies available for MD, but some may not be safe or efficient.
It is most appropriate to talk to your doctor before you decide to try a new treatment.
Morgellons can cause complications.
MD patients, who may have skin conditions such as MD, might pick at their skin. Gathering at the skin repeatedly can lead to sores that get worse or even an infection.
Sepsis can develop from untreated infections. If not treated, this medical emergency could lead to organ failure or death.
Many MD patients also suffer from anxiety and depression. However, it is still not clear if these conditions are connected.
Morgellons disease: How to Cope
Doctors and researchers often disagree on MD. There is still very much to know about the disease. It can be challenging to deal with the disease because of its complexity and lack of understanding.
It is helpful to connect with other people who have MDs and share information. You can find support groups and other resources that will help you keep up-to-date on the latest research on MD. They also offer advice on managing it and a network of people who have had similar experiences.
Many support groups can be found online and in person.
- Morgellons (Facebook group).
- Morgellons Disease Support Group
- Lyme Disease Support Group (since MD, Lyme disease, and possibly other conditions may be related).
With MD, talking to others can help you explain your condition to family members, friends, and doctors. You might also discover new ways to manage your symptoms and how to advocate for yourself to receive the care you require.
Morgellons disease: How to manage an undiagnosed skin condition
Morgellons disease, a mysterious skin condition that is not easily explained, is controversial. This page will answer common questions regarding Morgellons and offer suggestions on how to deal with them.
Morgellons disease, a rare and poorly understood condition, is characterized by tiny fibers or other particles emerging out of skin sores. People often describe this condition as feeling like something is crawling on their skin or stinging it.
Doctors may diagnose the condition as delusional infestation. They can treat it with antidepressants, counseling, and antipsychotic drugs. Some believe the symptoms may be due to an infection in the skin cells. More research is necessary.
Signs and symptoms
Morgellons patients report the following symptoms and signs:
- Itching that is intensely caused by skin rashes and sores
- Feelings of crawling on and under the skin are often compared with insects moving, biting, or stinging.
- Fibers, threads, and black stringy material on and under the skin
- Concentration is difficult
- Memory loss in the short-term
Morgellons disease can cause severe itching and open sores that can seriously impact a person’s quality of life.
What are the latest findings from researchers on Morgellons disease?
Multiple groups have conducted research over many decades on Morgellons. However, the results are inconsistent. Numerous studies have shown a possible connection between Morgellons infection and Borrelia spirochetes.
These findings contradict an earlier study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found that the condition was not caused by parasites or infection. The CDC studied 115 patients with Morgellons.
This condition is also known as unexplained dermatology. It revealed that the majority of the skin wounds had cotton fibers. According to the CDC, this condition is more common in middle-aged women of white skin color.
Its symptoms are familiar to a mental disorder that involves false beliefs about parasite infestation (delusional infection).
A few small research studies have attempted to identify the cause of Morgellons disease and provide effective treatment. However, there are no established guidelines for diagnosis or treatment. More research is required.
If a patient has skin-crawling sensations and slow-healing skin lesions, they may be diagnosed with Morgellons disease. A doctor perhaps sends a skin sample to a laboratory for analysis if they find fiber-like material.
A test of blood or skin may reveal signs and symptoms of a bacterial infection. It could include the B.burgdorferi bacteria. An open wound can lead to secondary Staphylococcus infection.
If a person has a history of mental illnesses or is experiencing symptoms like anxiety or depression, a psychiatrist may be referred to them.
Multiple testing can be required to diagnose Morgellons disease. Doctors will ultimately base their diagnosis on results from a physical exam and laboratory tests.
A trusted healthcare provider is essential, especially for patients with conditions such as Morgellons disease. Patients may experience better outcomes if they can trust their healthcare provider.
A contested diagnosis
The following are some common attitudes that health professionals have towards Morgellons disease:
- Morgellons disease may be a condition that requires research to confirm.
- You may think that symptoms and signs of Morgellons disease can be caused by mental illness.
- Do not acknowledge Morgellons disease or reserve judgment until more information is available.
People who suspect they may have Morgellons disease say they’ve been dismissed or ignored. However, doctors believe that those with symptoms and signs of Morgellons disease are more likely to resist other explanations.
Morgellons disease: How to Cope
Morgellons disease symptoms can be very distressing. Regardless of whether you’re a patient or a doctor, you still deserve compassionate care. You can manage your symptoms and signs:
- Establish a trusting relationship with your health care team. Look for a doctor who listens to your concerns, thoroughly examines you, discusses treatment options, and works with a multidisciplinary team.
- Be patient. Before diagnosing Morgellons disease, your doctor will most likely look for evidence-based conditions.
- Be open-minded. Take into consideration all possible causes of your symptoms, and talk to your doctor about the best treatment options. It may include long-term psychological therapy.
- Get treatment for any other conditions. Seek treatment for depression, anxiety, or any other disorder that can affect your thinking, moods, or behavior.
How can health care professionals diagnose Morgellons disease?
Morgellons disease is not a definitive diagnosis. Like most people with medical conditions, health care professionals will assess patients for Morgellons disease by asking questions and gathering information about past symptoms. To determine the correct diagnosis, they may perform a physical exam and order various lab tests. A medical professional may request a skin biopsy to assess specific skin conditions associated with Morgellons disease.
Treatment options for Morgellons disease
Although there is no cure for Morgellons, patients with this condition can benefit from medication that treats psychosis and tics such as olanzapine (Zyprexa or Zydis) or pimozide(Orap).
What is the outlook for Morgellons disease patients?
This disorder has a problematic prognosis due to the uncertainty surrounding its symptoms, diagnosis, and possible causes.
Editor’s note: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (Pearson et al. 2012) states that “This condition isn’t currently recognized as a separate clinical disorder with established diagnostic criteria which doctors generally accept and many dermatologists consider it to be synonymous with delusional parasis (DP).
Most of the information available about this condition is based on anecdotal or isolated cases. Although various possible infectious causes (e.g., Lyme disease, parasitic, and other non-infectious) have been suggested, the cause of the condition is unknown. There are no effective medical treatments.
When should you see a doctor?
If you are unsure, it is possible to call your doctor.
- Open skin wounds can occur without any apparent cause
- Long-lasting skin wounds
- Find fibers embedded or protruding from the skin of your loved ones
- Feeling pain in your joints or muscles?
- Feel extremely tired every day
- Memory or concentration problems
Morgellons disease, a rare condition, is poorly understood. It causes chronic skin injuries that may include black, red, and blue fibers.
Morgellons patients report various symptoms, including crawling sensations under their skin, joint pain and muscle pain, memory problems, and joint and muscle pain.
It is not known what caused it. Some healthcare professionals and researchers suspect that Morgellons disease is caused by a tick-borne bacterial illness similar to Lyme disease.
Some consider Morgellons disease a mental disorder.
Originally published at https://healthsalubrity.com on September 10, 2021.