It’s hard to believe but 4 years have passed since I posted some information about a new study the CDC was getting ready to undertake with hopes of enlightening us to a possible cause (or causes) of Morgellons
Now for those not familiar with Morgellons, sufferers from this mysterious skin disease have a feeling of a crawling sensation on or under the skin and often have fiber-like material emerging from it. Furthermore, the mental anguish and stress from these symptoms often become unbearable for those afflicted.
But as we will often see with unexplained illnesses, much debate as to the validity of this specific condition has followed. This is precisely why 4 years ago the CDC ordered this half-million dollar study looking for some medical explanation of Morgellons.
Specifically, the study assessed insured members of the Kaiser Permanente system in Northern California. Of that number, 115 patients reported symptoms consistent with Morgellons. 70% of those afflicted reported material coming out of their skin as fibers while the rest used a variety of other terms such as: "specks, dots, fuzz balls, and even larvae."
And what did the researchers find? Well, first and foremost, they did not find any evidence of the things being described. In fact, the dermatologists who assessed the skin of these patients typically found cotton or polyester fibers on top of unbroken skin. But never did they find living entities in the skin to explain the described symptoms.
So while it is clear there are individuals who suffer from Morgellons, a clear and defining reason or reasons still does not exist. Unfortunately, this will only further the debate as to whether Morgellons is a physical entity or fall under the umbrella of a mental health condition. Ultimately, it is important we figure out how to help those who are suffering from it.
- Dr. Jeremy