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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Diagnosed with delusional parasitosis. What if the infection is real?

A friend I am trying to help believes he contracted a parasite while overseas but claims that because he had a reaction to Acutane in 1984 and the Dr. is claiming he has Delusional Parasitosis because of this part of his medical history. My concern is what if the infection is real but being ignored? Just because they think he s crazy does not mean it isn t a legitimate infestation. He claims the infection occured while in either Russia (where he was living) or Thailand during a visit in which he had prolonged, skin to skin contact with someone. He states he developed a very itchy rash about 4 days later and the young lady told him two weeks later she was undergoing IV treatment for a parasite. He was given different creams over the course of 3 years at which a chinese herbal formulation at which point he felt the parasites scatter from the application site of the cream. He claims he felt them burrow deeper into his body until at this point (three years after initial infestation) he states he feels them in all over his body, including internal organs. He says he has red trail marks and itchy bites all over his body .... My main question to the community out there: IF we are to give this young man the benefit of the doubt ... is it AT ALL possible he does indeed have a parasite that could be causing these symptoms? If yes, does anyone know WHICH parasite(s) it might be and what the best way would be to find and eradicate the little buggers? Those of you out there who believe the delusional parasitosis is coming into play (from decades earlier) will you please be so kind as to include why you think it is this and would be impossible to be anything else? I am trying to help him, but I don t know how. I don t want to discredit his claims if there is any any parasite out there fits this kind of a history.... Thank you all so much for your kind consideration in trying to help me help him sort this all out.
Tue, 26 Nov 2013
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Infectious Diseases Specialist 's  Response
Hi,
Welcome to HCM.

Parasites which can be spread by skin to skin contact are usually infestations like ticks and lice. These parasites can cause itchy bumps all over the body due to their bites.
I also agree with your friends treating doctor that he is suffering from delusions as the symptoms he has described do not co relate with any parasitic infection.
I suggest you get in touch with a skin specialist for examination and treatment of the infestation if present.

Thanks.
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