Rate of body dysmorphic disorder in dermatology patients

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2000 Mar;42(3):436-41. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(00)90215-9.


Background: Dermatologists appear to be the physicians most often seen by patients with the psychiatric condition body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a distressing or impairing preoccupation with a nonexistent or slight defect in appearance. The frequency of BDD among patients seeking dermatologic treatment is unknown, however.

Objective: This study determined the percentage of patients seeking dermatologic treatment who screened positive for BDD.

Methods: A validated self-report questionnaire and a reliable defect severity scale were used to determine the rate of BDD in 268 patients seeking dermatologic treatment.

Results: A total of 11.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.0%-15.8%) of patients screened positive for BDD. Rates were similar in a community general dermatology setting (14.4% [95% CI, 8.5%-20.3%]) and a university cosmetic surgery setting (10. 0% [95% CI, 6.1%-13.9%]).

Conclusion: BDD appears relatively common among patients seeking dermatologic treatment. Further research is needed to confirm these findings and to assist dermatologists in identifying these potentially high-risk patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dermatology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Skin Diseases / complications
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis
  • Somatoform Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires