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What Is Morgellons?

Updated on November 13, 2017
beckieland profile image

Rebecca is a certified Medical Assistant fascinated with the strange and unusual.

This map displays the number of Americans registered with the Morgellons Research Foundation.
This map displays the number of Americans registered with the Morgellons Research Foundation. | Source

Morgellons: An Overview

Morgellons is an issue not yet classified in any medical literature, yet dozens of Americans believe they suffer from it. Sufferers state that a biting, crawling, and/or stinging sensation on the skin is only the beginning. Eventually, strange fibers will emerge from the pores, often black or red in color. The person also experiences extreme fatigue, changes in vision, memory loss, and joint pain. Sufferers believe it is caused by a parasite on the skin. Morgellons was founded in 2002 by a mom who thought her toddler was suffering from it; she originally named the ailment. However, the name comes from another disease of the skin from 17th century France, when children died after growing dark hair all over the body.

Is It Real?

While The Morgellons Research Foundation exists, and people believe that the ailment is real, the medical community is left unconvinced. A March 2008 report from the Journal of Dermatologic Therapy revealed that many doctors believe the condition to actually be a form of delusion. In this delusion, sufferers believe they are filled with parasites. The fibers are theorized to be external, grabbed off clothing by dry skin or eczema. The public responded to the discrediting doctors by demanding further research, and the CDC promised to do just that.

The Only Known Video of Morgellon's Disease

The Research Says...

There are still arguments over the existence of this disease, although research supports it being a parasitic infection. Those who believe it is a delusion believed that the wounds were self-inflicted. However, a double-blind, peer-reviewed study published in F1000Research reported that the wounds were, in fact, caused by an infection. This refuted the 2008 study that called the ailment a delusional disorder. Researchers have also linked the disease to Lyme disease, and believe the two may be related. While further research is necessary to determine the facts behind the disease, the medical community is beginning to reconsider its original stand on the topic.

Compassionate Support for Morgellon's Sufferers

While non-sufferers may believe the ailment is "all in the head", it's important to remember that people who have it truly believe it is real. Whether it is physical or mental, conditions of both the mind and body must be taken seriously. If someone you know believes they have the illness, strongly encourage them to see a doctor. It may be the beginning of their road to recovery from more than a skin infection. The Morgellon's Research Foundation is also a great place to find more information and connect with other sufferers.


  1. F1000Res. 2013 Jan 28;2:25. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.2-25.v1. eCollection 2013. Web Address:
  2. Journal of Medical Case Reports 2009, 3:8243 doi: 10.4076/1752-1947-3-8243 Web Address: :

© 2017 Rebecca Mayglothling


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    • ian 12am profile image

      Ian Batanda 

      14 months ago

      Quite frankly I have never heard of this condition before. Thank you for sharing. I think it's unfair for anyone to dismiss an illness simply because they don't know or understand it, especially without any scientific research.

    • beckieland profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Mayglothling 

      14 months ago from Binghamton NY

      I agree.

    • Liztalton profile image


      14 months ago from Washington

      The way I see disorders, is that even though science is struggling to prove the conditions existence, doesn't mean it's not real for the one's suffering with it.

    • beckieland profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Mayglothling 

      14 months ago from Binghamton NY

      You're welcome Liztalton. I hadn't heard of it before this article. It was fascinating to read about the progression of the research from a delusional order to a validated skin condition. Thanks for the comment!

    • Liztalton profile image


      14 months ago from Washington

      Wow I have never heard of this condition before. Thank you for writing this. I learned a lot.


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