- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Ekbom's syndrome II

Related people

A delusional syndrome that often presents in patients with significant cognitive abnormalities, usually in middle-aged and elderly female schizophrenics. The patient imagines the symptoms of parasitic infestation of the skin, most often of the outer rectal area. They feel like bugs, worms, or mites that are biting, crawling, or burrowing into, under, or out of the skin.

While insect phobias involve an irrational fear of insects without the insect bites or infestation actually being experienced, in delusions of parasitosis the patient believes that the bites or infestations actually occur.

The earliest well documented case appears to be that described by Georges Thibièrge (1856-1926) in 1894, although he applied the term "acarophobe." The term” delusions of parasitosis” was introduced in 1946 by J. W. Wilson and H. E. Miller.


  • Georges Thibièrge:
    Les acarophobes.
    Revue générale de clinique et de thérapeutique, 1894, 32: 373-376.
  • K. A. Ekbom:
    Praeseniler Dermat-zooenwahn.
    Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Copenhagen, 1938, 13: 227-259.
  • L. A. Miller:
    An account of insect hallucinations affecting an elderly couple.
    Canadian Entomology, 1954, 86 (10): 455-457.
  • J. W. Wilson and H. E. Miller:
    Delusion of parasitosis.
    Archives of Dermatology and Syphilology, Chicago, 1946, 54: 39-56.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.