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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Pitfalls and Pearls in Delusional Parasitosis

  • Author(s): Gold, Allen
  • Roit, Zhanna
  • Llovera, Ingrid
  • et al.

Delusional parasitosis is an uncommon psychiatric disorder that manifests as having parasitic delusions. Due to its rarity, delusional parasitosis is a challenging and costly diagnosis of exclusion and proves difficult to manage for many providers. Although this syndrome is frequently discussed in psychiatric and dermatology reports, it is not commonly described in emergency medicine (EM) literature. As a result, best practices for workup and treatment remain unclear from an EM perspective. Patients typically return multiple times for medical evaluation and exhaust numerous resources. In this case report we review the appropriate steps for initial evaluation of patients with suspected delusional parasitosis, differential diagnoses, and increase awareness for prudent treatment strategies.

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