Morgellons disease is an uncommon, unexplained skin disorder characterized by sores, crawling sensations on and under the skin, and fiber-like filaments emerging from the sores. It’s not certain what these strings are. Some say they are wisps of cotton thread, probably coming from clothing or bandages. Others say they result from an infectious process in the skin cells.
Signs and symptoms
People who have Morgellons disease report the following signs and symptoms:
- Skin rashes or sores that can cause intense itching
- Crawling sensations on and under the skin, often compared to insects moving, stinging or biting
- Fibers, threads or black stringy material in and on the skin
- Severe fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Short-term memory loss
The intense itching and open sores associated with Morgellons disease can severely interfere with a person’s quality of life.
Researchers with the Centers for Disease Control note that the signs and symptoms of Morgellons disease are very similar to those of a mental illness involving false beliefs about infestation by parasites (delusional parasitosis).