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Authors: Brian Wu, MD candidate, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, USA. DermNet New Zealand Editor in Chief: Hon A/Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand. Copy editor: Maria McGivern. March 2017.
A psychodermatological disorder is a condition that affects both the skin and the mind. It has both physical and psychosocial components. In these cases, effective management of the skin disorder must take into account the psychological/psychiatric factors.
Researchers use the term ‘neuro-immuno-cutaneous system’ (NICS) to describe this relationship.
Psychodermatological disorders may be divided into three categories:
Assessment tools for psychodermatological disorders include the following questionnaires:
The pharmacological treatment options for the psychological/psychiatric factors involved in psychodermatological disorders depend on the type of disorder being treated. They can include:
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is associated with trichotillomania (compulsive hair-pulling), onychophagia (nail biting), hand dermatitis from compulsive hand washing, and other skin conditions; SSRIs, such as fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline and fluvoxamine, have been proven to be effective for its treatment in clinical trials.
Non-pharmacological treatments available for the psychological/psychiatric factors involved in psychodermatological disorders include:
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