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August 1989

Factitial Leg Ulcers Associated With an Unusual Sleep Disorder

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology (Drs Brodland and Peters) and the Sleep Disorder Center (Dr Staats), Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn.

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(8):1115-1118. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670200091016

† A 19-year-old woman presented with a 14-month history of multiple, factitially induced, full-thickness leg ulcers. Nocturnal polysomnography with video monitoring revealed a short sleep latency and frequent sleep stage changes. Rapid eye movement sleep was absent. All stages of non-rapid eye movement sleep were associated with leg rubbing. After treatment that included avoidance of daytime naps and administration of chlorpromazine at bedtime, affect, daytime behavior, nocturnal sleep, and the ulcers improved markedly. To our knowledge, there are no reports of factitial dermatosis associated with disordered sleep. Our findings suggest that abnormal sleep may play a role in initiating or perpetuating factitial dermatoses. This case illustrates that polysomnography and video monitoring may be indicated in the evaluation of patients with factitial dermatoses.

(Arch Dermatol. 1989;125:1115-1118)