Skip to main content

Drug-Induced Formication and Delusions of Parasitosis

  • 1031 Accesses

Part of the Clinical Cases in Dermatology book series (CLIDADE)


Mr. Northwood is a 25 year-old Caucasian man, who presented with a chief complaint of being infested by “bugs.” He reported intense, bothersome sensations of crawling, stinging, and biting, which were felt frequently all over this body. He otherwise had a clean bill of health and denied any psychological stress or emotional issues. Upon further questioning, he admitted to regular, heavy use of cocaine for the past 2 years. After he had started experimenting with cocaine, he started to notice these symptoms, which were tolerable at the time. However, the sensations progressively worsened to the point where he could no longer resist the urge to scratch or to pick at his skin. His general practitioner could not determine the cause, and as a result, referred him to your psychodermatology clinic for help.


  • Chief Complaint
  • Recreational Drug
  • Cocaine User
  • Chronic Drug
  • Emotional Issue

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD   29.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD   39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Learn about institutional subscriptions


  1. Brewer JD, Meves A, Bostwick JM, Hamacher KL, Pittelkow MR. Cocaine abuse: dermatologic manifestations and therapeutic approaches. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008;59(3):483–7.

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Elpern DJ. Cocaine abuse and delusions of parasitosis. Cutis. 1988;42(4):273–4.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2014 Springer-Verlag London

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Nguyen, T.V., Wong, J.W., Koo, J. (2014). Drug-Induced Formication and Delusions of Parasitosis. In: Clinical Cases in Psychocutaneous Disease. Clinical Cases in Dermatology. Springer, London.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, London

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4471-4311-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4471-4312-3

  • eBook Packages: MedicineMedicine (R0)