We Finally Know What Triggers Delusional Infestation

We Finally Know What Triggers Delusional Infestation

We Finally Know What Triggers Delusional Infestation in Nashville

Ever heard of delusional infestation (DI)? It might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but it’s a very real condition. Put simply, patients with delusional infestation believe that their skin is infested with organisms or inanimate particles - and as a dermatologist, I actually see delusional infestation much more in Nashville than you think.

It is very challenging as a dermatologist to make this diagnosis, because the patient is truly suffering and believes that their skin is infested with anything from bugs to fibers. However, there is a much larger psychological component to it, and patients don’t want to be told they need to see a psychiatrist. While there are rare parasites that could crawl through your skin, any bugs that would be inside someone would actually be deadly and it is unlikely the person could actually walk into our Nashville office. Yes, these rare parasites could come out of your skin, but not in the way these patients think about it as hundreds of bugs crawling out of you.

For a long time, I wondered about the triggers here in Nashville. While our dermatologists asked these patients about recreational drug use, occasionally they would admit to it. That’s why when I came across a study published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology pointing to this connection, I was immediately intrigued.

The study looked at 86 patients with delusional infestation, and actually found that the prevalence of recreational drug use (particularly cannabis) in delusional infestation patients is high, and unfortunately, patients do not always disclose their habit. In my practice, for those that do, I’ve always been incredibly impressed by how determined they were to stop using those drugs to help them get rid of the itching, burning skin symptoms that was leading to wounds on the skin from rubbing and scratching so intensely.

If you know someone with delusional infestation in Nashville, ask them to open up honestly to you to determine if recreational drug use may have a role to play. If you are struggling with delusional infestation or want to see a dermatologist to speak about it, please visit us at Skin Solutions Dermatology in Nashville, Franklin, Columbia, Smyrna, Hendersonville or Pulaski to chat with our amazing team of dermatology specialists! Take advantage of our online booking system and book an appointment today.

Source: Clinical and Experimental Dermatology

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Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD