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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7450


RODRIGUEZ-CERDEIRA, Carmen; TELMO PERA, José  and  ARENAS, Roberto. Ekbom Syndrome: A Condition between Dermatology and Psychiatry. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2010, vol.39, n.2, pp.440-447. ISSN 0034-7450.

Introduction: Ekbom syndrome or delusional parasitosis (DP) represents a rare mono-symptomatic psychosis characterized by the delusional belief of the patient against all evidence, that he is infested by insects, worms or lice that damage his skin. Daily work and/or social activities may be seriously compromised. Objectives: To review cases of patients with DP in order to learn from them. Method: Five cases (3 men and 2 women) are reported. Results: Mean duration of symptoms at the time of the first assessement was 10 months. Two of the patients had delusions of oral and skin parasitosis. They felt small lizards and/or small organisms in their mouths. All of them were treated with pimozide, but only one had complete remission. Later, two of them were treated with sulpiride and achieved total remission. Risperidone was given to one patient, resulting in partial remission. All the patients were evaluated at 3, 6 and 12 months post-treatment. Conclusions: These findings highlight the difficulties encountered in diagnosing DP, in the lack of acceptance of the treatment by the patient, and in choosing the right psychotropic medication by the dermatologist who faces the dilemma of managing a psychiatric condition in a dermatological setting. To the best of our knowledge, there is only one previous report of coexisting delusions of oral and skin parasitosis to date.

Keywords : Delirium; Ekbom syndrome; dermatology.

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