No Medical Explanation for ‘Crawling Skin’ Disease

The symptoms of the bizarre illness known as Morgellons are enough to make your skin crawl. For patients who say they are suffering from the condition, that sensation is all too real.

Sufferers report feeling that bugs are crawling all over their skin or just under it. They have fatigue and painful sores. They also say that they’ve pulled “fibers” and other solid materials like “specks, granules, dots, worms, sand, eggs, fuzz balls and larvae” through their skin, leaving lesions, according to new research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The new study — a $600,000 project launched in 2008 in response to a massive swell of interest and inquiries about the condition from lawmakers and patients — sought to determine how common Morgellons is. Perhaps more importantly for sufferers, the study also looked for a medical cause. The result: there is none.

No one denies that people with Morgellons are suffering from something. But the new findings suggest that their symptoms may exist only in their minds.

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