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Scabiesor lice
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Scabiesor lice

I've had this problem since March of this year, and I can't seem to get any results. In my scalp,ears,face,eyebrows and upper part of my back, I have this crawling sensation. I thought maybe I had gotten lice when I went to a beauty School
and had my hair washed and set. I've been to the doctors and to a dermatologist at a military installation, and they gave me some creams, and nothing seems to help. When I scrape my scalp,
I get these dark scaly scales. I am about to go crazy with this
crawling sensation and biting. The Dermatologist sugested I go to mental health, but I don't need mental help. I took samples to show him what I was getting out of my scalp and ears, and now it is coming through my navel and vagina. He ran no test on
me, nor would he take scrapings and run maybe a test on them.
Can you give me some advice on what you think it may be, or direct me to a medical doctor or someone that can help me.
I hope you can understand my situation, I am desperate. Please
help. Invento
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239123_tn?1267651214
You have the symptom called "formication" (not forNication!); it comes from the Latin word for ant (formus, I think) and describes the feeling of small bugs crawling on the skin.  It is a classical symptom of psychiatric disease.  Your belief that "it" or "things" are coming out of the scalp, ears, navel and vagina also are classical signs of a mental health problem.  These feelings and beliefs can seem extremely real; just like you, most patients don't believe there is not a phyusical problem.

I routine recommend exactly what you have done:  first see a dermatologist.  But if the dermatologist says you need to see a mental health professional, then that is exactly what you need.  Take my word for it and see a psychologist or psychiatrist.  The worst that will happen is that I will be proved wrong.  Please do it.

Best wishes--   HHH, MD
2 Comments
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Invento--It's always frustrating to feel as though you aren't being heard, or as though your concerns are not being granted the serious attention they deserve.  I hope you will search out a more sympathetic doctor who can address your questions in more satisfactory fashion.  Meanwhile, I can attest to the fact that there is a very strong psychological component to itching.  Just last week, we were informed by the principal of our daughter's school that a case of head lice had been discovered among her classmates.  Well!  Every little itch loomed large for days!  One parent I know went so far as to treat her child despite there being no sign of infestation.  She was so paranoid that she preferred applying an insecticide to her child's hair and scalp over the far more prudent waiting and seeing!  In any case, I hope you can find a way to stop scraping and picking at your skin until you get another opinion, and to resist the urge to apply anything to it, as well.  Could be you are only irritating your poor skin further.  Also, keep in mind that no dermatologist is likely to overlook either scabies or lice, both of which are staples, as it were, of their profession, and both of which leave clear and apparent evidence of their existence, readily visible to the naked eye.  Best wishes to you!
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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