Morgellons disease (MD) is a controversial topic among practitioners, dating back to 1674, when physician Sir Thomas Browne wrote about specific symptoms in children. It has been given various names, including parasitophobia, Ekbom syndrome, delusional parasitosis, dermatological hypochondriasis, and Morgellons.
Many researchers and practitioners today think MD is a psychiatric disorder featuring delusions. However, research shows MD is a genuine skin disorder in which fibers made of keratin or collagen appear to protrude from or stuck in areas on the skin. The fibers develop as a response to the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterial infection, representing Lyme disease.
Morgellons Disease and Lyme Disease
According to research, people with Morgellons disease also have Lyme disease, another tick-borne illness, or coinfection. In most cases, the person has had Lyme disease for a long time, sometimes over a decade.
However, not everyone with Lyme disease has Morgellons disease.
MD seems to be one way Lyme disease manifests in the human body. It produces filaments and fibers that, when picked out, create lesions and scars on the outside of the skin. Lesions or ulcers can appear anywhere on the body, including the genitals.
Symptoms of Morgellons Disease
Doctors look for specific Morgellons symptoms when diagnosing the disease, including the following:
- Skin lesions that take a long time to heal
- Appearance of colorful fibers or particles coming out of the skin lesions
- Sensations on or under the skin that feel like itching or crawling
Depending on a person’s Lyme disease stage, they may feel additional symptoms. For example, stage one Lyme disease can cause headaches and flu-like symptoms.
Classification of Morgellons Symptoms
Lyme disease progresses through stages. In each stage, the MD lesions have common characteristics that are used to classify them, like the following:
- Class 1 is in the early localized stage of Lyme disease. Lesions or fibers have been present for three months, localized to the head, body, arms, and legs.
- Class 2 is in the early disseminated stage of Lyme disease. Lesions or fibers have been present for three months but affect more than one body part. The only body parts affected include the head, body, arms, and legs.
- Class 3 is in the late localized stage of Lyme disease. A person has had symptoms for six months, but continues to affect the arms, legs, body, or head.
- Class 4, late disseminated, has been manifesting for over six months but only affecting the head, body, arms, or legs.
Treatments for Morgellons Disease
A Lyme-literate specialist is the doctor to seek for diagnosing your symptoms. A great example of a Lyme-literate specialist is Dr. Morales at Lyme Mexico. He has over ten years of experience treating Morgellons disease and many other rare and infectious diseases.
Watch this video of Dr. Morales explaining Morgellons and his preferred treatment methods, which include:
- Immunotherapy or Immune Modulation
Your immune system is malfunctioning if you have Morgellons or Lyme disease. Immunotherapies change the immune system to work better at fighting pathogens. Low-dose immunotherapies can be created to activate or suppress the immune system. Your doctor will take antibodies from donated, healthy plasma and put them into your bloodstream for maximum effectiveness.
- IV Cocktail
IV or intravenous cocktail refers to a mixture of ingredients delivered directly to the bloodstream via an IV line. A cocktail to treat Morgellons will include colloidal silver, used to treat wounds and infections before antibiotics were developed.
Antimicrobials and antiparasitic agents are added to the IV cocktail because they help stop or prevent the growth of pathogens like Lyme spirochetes. Zinc is an example of a natural antimicrobial, and traditional antibiotics are examples of synthetic versions. Antiparasitic drugs target specific parasites in the body. Antiprotozoals are best in treating Morgellons and Lyme disease.
Hyperthermia is a whole-body treatment in which the body’s temperature is increased safely and under the supervision of a Lyme-literate doctor. They slowly raise your body’s temperature by about 10%, creating an artificial fever response. Fever is part of the immune system that helps flush out foreign pathogens. With some diseases, like Morgellons, the fever response does not respond as it should.
5 Steps to Take for Symptoms of Morgellons
Morgellons, while rare, can occur. If you have fibers or particles exiting from under your skin, your eyes, genitals, or any other body part, don’t ignore them. If you have talked to a physician about your symptoms and they brushed it off or gave you a psychiatric diagnosis, get a second opinion. You must advocate for yourself until you find answers. Here are five ways to help you get answers:
- Make an appointment, online or in-person, with a Lyme-literate doctor. Many Lyme-literate doctors will consult with you virtually for the initial introductory consultation. Choose a doctor involved in research, connected to the best laboratories, and a member of world-renowned organizations like the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS). They use advanced testing methods and equipment to diagnose and treat accurately.
- Join an online forum with others with Morgellons disease, like the one on Stuff That Works. Or join one of the numerous Lyme disease online support groups at lymedisease.org. Peer support is essential to coping with any disease. You are not alone, and there are many people out there who can benefit from your support as well.
- Make an appointment with a counselor. While research proves Morgellons disease is not a psychological disorder, you can still benefit from therapy by learning coping tools to help you overcome tough times. Therapy can also benefit your family, teaching them how to help a loved one with a rare disease.
- Educate yourself on everything related to Morgellons and Lyme disease. Knowledge is power and can help you make decisions regarding treatments.
- Never give up. The right doctor is out there. Avoid limiting yourself to seeing only American or Canadian doctors. Find a doctor with the most experience who can save you time and frustration.
If you’re looking to travel outside the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom for treatment, then contact Lyme Mexico Clinic and learn more about how they can help support you with their alternative treatments.