Raising awareness to the public and professionals about an emerging disease
All GP's have encountered patients reporting many of the symptoms described. There can be lots of causes for itching, and your doctor should rule out known causes such as scabies, body lice, pin worms, allergies, thyroid, kidney or liver disfunction.
A diagnose of Morgellons disease should be considered only after the above have been ruled out. Morgellon sufferers may present as neurotic (due to intense itching), but rarely psychotic.
This letter from the Department of Health advises morgellons sufferers to engage with their GPs for a thorough assessment:
Not all Morgellons sufferers have open skin sores but may have spots that don't heal properly, or that are itchy. Some patients also report that they are causing other people to itch in their presence.
For both doctors and patients, its important to engage and keep an open mind about tests and treatment options. Many patients with symptoms of Morgellons report having bacterial and fungal co-infections which may be internal or skin related.
Clinical Serology Test Abnormalities
(Morgellons Research Foundation, case definition 2007)
GP's can refer patients to Dr Anthony Bewley (Consultant Dermatologist), Central Appointments Office, Barts Health NHS Trust, 1st Floor, 9 Prescot Street, London. E1 8PR Tel: 020 7767 3200 Fax 020 7791 9670
It may be appropriate to take a skin scapings or biopsies for bacterial infections (eg Staph. aureus is common) and fungal infections (very common).
Research suggests that many patients test positive for the bacteria, Borrelia spp, and may have chronic Lyme disease symptoms. Antibiotics have helped patients. Although Morgellons is not caused by bacteria alone, bacterial co-infections are highly likely with this condition, including tick related Bartonella or Babesia bacteria.
Patients have benefited from UVB radiation therapy, doxycycline, or a combination of clarithromycin and Bactrim. Treatment for fungal infections with short term use of metronidazole can help initially. Soolantra (ivermectin) skin cream, Dermol500 skin cream, Betacap scalp steroid cream may assist skin.
Medication can kick start a level of recovery, but sufferers often find longer term, holistic strategies, give the greatest benefit, although do not report being cured.
Pain killers, anti-hystamine and sleep medications may help sleep, if relaxation activities and natural remedies are insufficient.
Deciding to make a diagnosis of delusional parasitosis must be given careful consideration, as it can have a negative impact on active daily living - long term. Be mindful that many anti-psycotic drugs, also have an anti-microbial and anti-parasitic action.
See support info: http://www.morgellonsuk.org.uk/support.htm.
Please feel free to contact us, for further information.
Page updated: 16th January 2016