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Delusions of Parasitosis: A Clinical Study of 26 Cases
Chun-Hsiang Chang, Ming-Been Lee, Yuh-Chiau Chiang, Yau-Chin Lu
Dermatol Sinica 9: 47-53, 1991

In order to understand the clinical characteristics of delusions of parasitosis, 26 patients at the psychocutaneous special clinic from February 1982 to January 1991 were investigated. There were 16 males and 10 females, the age ranged from 23 to 68 years, with a mean age of 48.7±14.8 years. The patients were divided into Groups A, B and C, according to the factors precipitating their diseases. Patients in Group A were old and revealed no previous life events inducing their diseases. Group B patients were younger, and all of them had the history of sexual contact with a prostitute before the onset of their disease. Group C patients were the youngest among these 3 groups. They believed their diseases were transmitted via their sibling or friends who had a history of scabies or insect bites. Group A patients described their parasites in details, including the morphology, color and the activity of the parasites. On the other hand, the patients in Group B and C described only the activity of the parasites; they did not mention the color and morphology of the parasites. The symptoms of delusions in Group A and C patients were improved remarkably with oral antipsychotic medications such as thioridazine 75-150 mg/day or sulpiride 600-1200 mg/day. However, the symptoms became worse again if they did not continue the medication. Group A patients revealed no improvement with these oral antipsychotic medication.

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