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Article
November 1952

DELUSION OF PARASITOSIS (ACAROPHOBIA): Further Observations in Clinical Practice

AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1952;66(5):577-585. doi:10.1001/archderm.1952.01530300033004
Abstract

IN THE year 1946 a discussion of the delusion of parasitosis was presented in the dermatologic literature1 under joint authorship with the late Dr. Hiram E. Miller, in which it was pointed out that patients who unalterably but falsely believe that the skin is infested with parasites are suffering from a severe mental illness only rarely correctable by the dermatologist and occasionally by the psychiatrist. The designation "acarophobia," under which the syndrome was previously classed, was deemed inappropriate because such patients rarely selected the organism of scabies as the infesting parasite and seldom exhibited any of the fear, dread, or hysteria usually associated with the other phobias. Only 45 cases could be found recorded in the literature, whereas the disorder occurs much more frequently than that figure would indicate. Six cases which had come under our own observation were presented and discussed.

In reviewing and tabulating the

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