Delusional parasitosis: She burned her skin to kill 'insects' that infested body

Mr Chua Juay Peng showing the marks on his mother Low Meow Luan's arms that came from her burning herself with joss sticks. It was her way to get rid of the "insects" she believed were roaming freely on her body. With treatment, Madam Low has improve
Mr Chua Juay Peng showing the marks on his mother Low Meow Luan's arms that came from her burning herself with joss sticks. It was her way to get rid of the "insects" she believed were roaming freely on her body. With treatment, Madam Low has improved gradually and is back to her old self. She still goes for follow-up checks and has to take medication daily.ST PHOTO: ALVIN HO

People with delusional parasitosis think bugs have invaded their bodies and take drastic steps

Almost every day, numerous insects would swarm and nip at retiree Low Meow Luan's arms and feet, causing an intolerable itch.

The 75-year-old slathered all sorts of ointments and salves, but relief was only temporary. So she clawed at her skin until it bled.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 05, 2018, with the headline 'She burned her skin to kill 'insects' that infested body'. Print Edition | Subscribe