Special Report: Body bugs
"I pulled an earwig out of my back," Rick Conti, said.
"I would find them on the pillow at night," Barb Metcalf, said.
"I combed my hair on a paper plate and I had about 40 little round bugs with six legs," Kathy Jimenez, said.
The idea of real bugs living in your body may make your skin crawl, but many in the medical profession believe this creepy crawling condition is not real.
Still Kathy Jimenez says she has body bugs, and they are very real.
To prove it, she and her husband scrape her skin and put it under a microscope; they say it shows a live, moving bug.
"She really has real bugs, she has flies, ticks. All sorts of strange bugs," Jose Jimenez said.
These slides are covered in what looks like black pepper, Kathy says all of this came out of her skin. Look what happens when it's amplified 100 times.
"You can see it there, how it's moving. When it's all done, it just retracts right back into the cocoon," Jose Jimenez said.
Some doctors say this is not a physical disorder but a mental one. Many say they have never seen proof the bugs are real instead they think it's delusional parasitosis, a psychological condition where people think they are infested with parasites.
"With all the testing that's been done for infestations, infections, its never turned up anything," Dr. Matthew Avram, of Massachusetts General Hospital said.
But people like Barb Metcalf say their suffering is real and it's ruining their lives.
"You're energy just totally goes, and the pain replaces it. You don't want to eat. All you want to do is sleep, but you can't sleep because the pain keeps you awake" Metcalf said.
Some researchers in Oklahoma believe the bugs may be a symptom of a bigger problem called Morgellons syndrome. That's a controversial illness where sufferers say fibers grow out of open wounds. The researchers believe bugs could easily crawl into these open lesions, giving the appearance they were living under the skin.
"If a person has an open lesion that spends weeks were it doesn't heal. There's always the possibly of secondary infections," Morgellons disease expert, Dr. Randy Wymore, said
While nothing has been proven on either side of the debate, the Center for Disease Control has finally agreed to investigate Morgellons syndrome.
For those who say they are fighting body bugs, a cure can't come soon enough.
"I want somebody to help me," Kathy Jimenez said.
Several groups have formed to help people who claim to suffer from Morgellons.
(Copyright (c) 2007 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)