[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 29, 1967

Carpet Beetle Dermatitis

JAMA. 1967;200(9):799. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120220101033

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


To the Editor:—  I enjoyed the letter " 'Delusions' of Parasitosis Caused by Carpet Beetles" by Drs. Samuel Ayres, Jr., and Richard Mihan (199:675, 1967). Often times, we dermatologists are apt to discount the statements of apprehensive and at times paranoid patients that they have bugs on their skin. Almost inevitably such patients have delusions of parasitosis, and a meticulous examination of material which they bring in reveals the presence only of cloth fibers, epithelial debris, or dirt. In this case Dr. Ayres and Dr. Mihan were able to allay the apprehension of the patient and effect a cure by identifying a "harmless" carpet beetle.I should like to point out, however, that carpet beetles may rarely produce a contact type of dermatitis in man. Such a case was reported by Dr. George M. Lewis and me (New York J Med48:2037, 1948). The patient was a 47-year-old nurse