We received a very distressing email from a reader recently who is suffering from some sort of parasitic infection, or what is believed to be a parasitic infection. The parasite is complicated. It is decribed as white with a “hard ribbed outer shell,” and it can curl up or lie flat. It is under the skin of the reader, but it can break through, and it causes a lot of itching and discomfort. “Tangles of very small worms” are also somehow related to the parasite’s life cycle, but it is not clear how. (Are the thin, small worms somehow part of the parasite or are they a separate parasite? Or perhaps they are they actually the parasite itself at some stage in its life cycle?) While we are by no means qualified to render a diagnosis (and so we aren’t), our reader’s description brings to mind that of Morgellons disease, a very strange ailment that the medical community regards as a “delusional infestation,” even though the afflicted swear the disease is physical and not mental.