Author(s): Barankin B, DeKoven J, Barankin B, DeKoven J
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To increase awareness of the psychosocial effect of acne, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis. QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: A literature review was based on a MEDLINE search (1966 to 2000). Selected articles from the dermatologic and psychiatric literature, as well as other relevant medical journals, were reviewed and used as the basis for discussion of how skin disease affects patients' lives and of appropriate management. Studies in the medical literature provide mainly level III evidence predominantly based on descriptive studies and expert opinion. MAIN MESSAGE: Dermatologic problems can result in psychosocial effects that seriously affect patients' lives. More than a cosmetic nuisance, skin disease can produce anxiety, depression, and other psychological problems that affect patients' lives in ways comparable to arthritis or other disabling illnesses. An appreciation for the effects of sex, age, and location of lesions is important, as well as the bidirectional relationship between skin disease and psychological distress. This review focuses on the effects of three common skin diseases seen by family physicians: acne, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis. CONCLUSION: How skin disease affects psychosocial well-being is underappreciated. Increased understanding of the psychiatric comorbidity associated with skin disease and a biopsychosocial approach to management will ultimately improve patients' lives.
This article was published in Can Fam Physician
and referenced in Journal of Psychiatry