PURPOSE: To describe the clinical appearance of factitious (or self- inflicted) lesions on periocular skin and face. METHODS: All patients with factitious cutaneous disease who were examined at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, between 1985 and 1997 were identified. For patients with lesions on the face and periocular skin, the demographic features, clinical descriptive characteristics of their lesions, associated psychopathology, and treatments were ascertained. RESULTS: Of 38 patients with factitious dermatitis, 18 (47%) had facial lesions. Of these 18 patients, 15 (83%) were female. The mean age (± SD) of the patients with facial lesions was 35.2 ± 15.7 years (range, 9 to 66 years). Eight patients (44%) had neurotic excoriations, nine (50%) had dermatitis artefacta, and one (6%) had trichotillomania. The working diagnoses of five patients cared for initially in the Department of Ophthalmology were corneal epithelial and facial desquamation associated with severe pain of unknown cause, medial cicatricial ectropion of probable vasculitic cause, basal cell carcinoma of the nasojugal fold, recurrent preseptal cellulitis resistant to medical treatment, and madarosis of the upper eyelids of unknown cause. CONCLUSION: Cutaneous factitious disease may masquerade as numerous clinical entities and should be included in the differential diagnosis of lesions of the periocular skin.
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