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.