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Mystery Bug Research at Mayo
This article was published originally on 5/18/2011
A common phone call, message or sample involves a client who feels "bugs" are crawling on or burrowing into their skin, or that unexplained skin irritation is caused by insects they can not see or feel. A microscopic examination of their sample specimens yields dust, lint, scabs, skin and other debris but never a mystery bug that would account for the symptoms described. When the situation advances to an unshakable belief that insects are involved it is called delusory parasitosis or delusions of parasitosis (formerly also called illusory parasitosis).