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September 15, 2008

Cutaneous Complication of Chronic Fatigue: An Answer From the Horse’s Mouth

Arch Dermatol. 2008;144(9):1238-1240. doi:10.1001/archderm.144.9.1238

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is defined as new-onset fatigue lasting at least 6 months not substantially alleviated by rest and detrimental to professional and social functioning.1 Diagnosis also requires at least 4 of the following: impairment of short-term memory or concentration, sore throat, muscle pain, multijoint pain without swelling or redness, headaches distinct from any experienced before, and disproportionate malaise after exertion.1 Nonetheless, self-diagnosis is common, and many patients seek alternative treatments.2 One consequence of the use of alternative treatment is morbidity owing to delayed recognition of reversible causes of fatigue.2 Herein, however, we report a case of self-diagnosed CFS in which morbidity stemmed directly from the alternative treatment pursued.

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