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Morgellons disease (MD) is a rare condition in which people report multi-colored fibers protruding from the inside of a sore on the skin’s surface. They may also experience skin crawling sensations. 

Some researchers think it is a psychiatric disorder, with the fibers being a figment of a person’s imagination. They call it delusional parasitosis. Some researchers even thought MD was a self-inflicted condition.

Other unsubstantiated theories about Morgellons disease include the following:

  • MD is a mass delusional disorder affecting middle-aged Caucasian women.
  • Delusions may spread from person to person and the internet.
  • Antipsychotics and electroconvulsive therapies are proper treatments.
  • People who experience Morgellons symptoms may use drugs or alcohol.
  • Anyone who believes a person with delusional parasitosis must also have the condition.

More recent research shows that Morgellons disease is closely related to Lyme disease. In one study, 96% of patients with Morgellons disease tested positive for the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

Skin Crawling Sensations Explained

Each person experiencing skin crawling sensations may define them differently. One study listed the many different descriptions, including:

  • burning sensations
  • itching
  • stinging or biting
  • slow healing sores
  • sores that leave very red scars
  • fibers stuck in the skin
  • worms and strings coming out of the skin
  • bugs crawling under the skin
  • rocks or sand in the skin
  • painful lesions with fibers
  • multi-colored fibers, usually red, white, blue, black, or green

Are the Skin Crawling Sensations Real?

Research studies involving microscopic imaging found the fibers to contain keratin and collagen upon magnification. Researchers suggest the fibers result from “fibroblasts” or a rapid increase in keratinocytes in the skin.

Researchers found something else, that spirochetes or bacteria were also present in the fibers, suggesting an infection. Spirochetes can enter keratin and collagen and replicate inside them.

 

Managing the Skin Crawling Sensation - Lyme Mexico

 

Symptoms Accompanying Morgellons Skin Crawling Sensations

People with Morgellons disease exhibit more symptoms than skin crawling sensations. There are some common accompanying symptoms among those with skin crawling sensations, including the following:

  • Debilitating fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Cognitive issues
  • Sleep disorders
  • Psychiatric symptoms
  • Digestive problems

All these symptoms appear in Lyme disease, too, in multiple stages.

The Stages of Lyme Disease Symptoms

Symptoms of the early localized stage of Lyme disease may include:

  • Stiff neck
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Sore throat
  • Chills and sweats
  • Fever 
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Muscle or joint pain

In the early disseminated stage, symptoms may include:

  • All the symptoms in stage 1
  • Multiple lesions or rashes
  • Bell’s palsy or facial paralysis
  • Meningitis
  • Numbness in the arms or legs
  • Pain or swelling in joints

In the late disseminated stage, look for the following symptoms:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Concentration and memory difficulties
  • Speech problems
  • Depression, anxiety, or other mental health problems
  • Arthritis of major joints
  • Encephalopathy

There haven’t been any documented studies investigating how the symptoms of the Morgellons disease stage align with those of Lyme disease. However, the early disseminated phase of Lyme disease usually occurs about three months after being infected by a deer tick. Three months is also a significant time in Morgellons. It is when lesions and sores appear, and skin crawling sensations occur.

The Stages of Morgellons Skin Crawling Sensations

The clinical stages of Morgellons are like the stages of Lyme disease, including early and late localized and early and late disseminated.

  • Early localized lesions and fibers occur at less than three months and only appear on one specific body part. 
  • Early disseminated lesions and fibers occur for over three months and appear in more than one area.
  • Late localized lesions and fibers occur for over six months, appearing in one place on the body.
  • Late disseminated lesions and fibers occur for over six months, appearing in more than one area.

Differential Diagnoses

Some reports suggest that Morgellons is a multi-systemic disease affecting numerous bodily functions. While Lyme disease is the most common disorder associated with Morgellons disease, it is not the only one with closely related symptoms. 

Doctors don’t always get it right, which is why Lyme disease and Morgellons are often misdiagnosed. A misdiagnosis prolongs the correct treatment and turns acute symptoms into chronic. Below is a list of differential diagnoses:

  • Parasitic cutaneous infections
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Substance misuse
  • Nutritional deficits
  • Encephalitis
  • Neurological disorders

Working with a Lyme-literate doctor can help you avoid a misdiagnosis. These doctors specialize in infectious and rare diseases and have advanced testing methods for diagnosing disorders.

Testing for Morgellons Skin Crawling Sensations

There are no specific tests available to test Morgellons disease. However, a comprehensive review of your symptoms will signal a Lyme-literate doctor to test for Morgellons disease. They can also send samples of the fibers causing your skin crawling sensations to world-renowned laboratories for quick results.

Lyme-literate doctors can use the following diagnostic testing methods:

  • Blood work
  • Lesion biopsy
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
  • Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH)
  • Western Blot

Treatment for Morgellons Skin Crawling Symptoms

Lyme-literate doctors use cutting-edge treatment methods and equipment to ensure you have the best chance of eliminating any infectious disease’s symptoms. Examples of treatments include immune modulation and immunotherapy, boosting your immune system so it can do its job of protecting you from pathogens and parasites. Immunotherapies and Immune modulations improve immune system function.

Intravenous therapies, including antibiotics, vitamins, and minerals, are often the first line of action for fighting Morgellons. The antibiotics eliminate the bacteria, but some spirochetes manage to survive. Therefore, additional treatments are needed to treat them. Examples of additional alternative treatments include hyperthermia and therapeutic apheresis.

When to Contact a Doctor

You may be able to seek early treatment with a Lyme-literate doctor and avoid painful symptoms that come with chronic conditions. At the first sign of any of the following, call for help:

  • Open skin wound for no apparent reason
  • Skin wounds take a long time to heal
  • Fibers appearing in skin wounds
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Fatigue that gets worse over time
  • Memory and decision-making problems
  • Cognitive decline

Whether you are experiencing a skin crawling sensation or want more information on Morgellons, contact a Lyme-literate doctor, like Dr. Omar Morales at Lyme Mexico Clinic, a leader in the infectious and rare disease industry. He can create a specific Morgellons protocol that meets your unique needs.

Consider traveling outside the United States, Canada, and the UK to Mexico to meet with a top clinic, Lyme Mexico. Learn more about Lyme disease or schedule an evaluation. We can discuss your symptoms and the alternative treatment options that work.

 

Managing the Skin Crawling Sensation - Lyme Mexico

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