Q:

Why does my skin feel like it's crawling?

A:

The sensation of crawling skin can be caused by allergies, medications, menopause, withdrawal symptoms and Morgellon's disease. The crawling skin sensation may also be caused by a high fever, skin cancer or herpes.

The medical term for crawling skin in which no parasites are present is delusory parasitosis. It may feel like worms or bugs are crawling on or biting the skin. In some cases, not only can the patient feel the crawling sensation, but they they can also see mites, worms or insects crawling on the skin. Although many try self-healing techniques like baths with special soap, or anti-itch creams, medical intervention is usually necessary to identify the root of the problem and provide relief.

Delusory parasitosis can quickly turn serious. The patient's need for relief often causes intense scratching, which can lead to cuts and infections. Patients may also resort to using harmful chemicals in an attempt to make the itching go away. The best course of action to diagnose and treat skin crawling is to seek professional help.

Doctors may take skin samples to find the cause of the abnormal skin sensation and will conduct a full checkup. If no actual parasites are found, the patient may be referred to a psychiatric professional.

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