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Characterization and evolution of dermal filaments from patients with Morgellons disease.

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Abstract

Morgellons
disease is an emerging skin
disease characterized by formation of dermal filaments associated with multisystemic symptoms and tick-borne illness. Some clinicians hypothesize that these often colorful dermal filaments are textile fibers, either self-implanted by patients or accidentally adhering to lesions, and conclude that patients with this
disease have delusions of infestation. We present histological observations and electron microscopic imaging from representative Morgellons
disease samples revealing that dermal filaments in these cases are keratin and collagen in composition and result from proliferation and activation of keratinocytes and fibroblasts in the epidermis. Spirochetes were detected in the dermatological specimens from our study patients, providing evidence that Morgellons
disease is associated with an infectious process.

Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2013;6:1-21. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S39017. Epub 2013 Jan 8.

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