Psychocutaneous syndromes: a call for revised nomenclature

Clin Exp Dermatol. 2007 May;32(3):317-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2230.2006.02334.x.


We propose abandoning three outdated, pejorative diagnostic terms: 'trichotillomania', 'delusions of parasitosis', and 'neurotic excoriation'. These insensitive terms are offensive to patients and become a barrier to treatment. We suggest the following alternative patient-centred nomenclature: 'neuromechanical alopecia', 'pseudoparasitic dysaesthesia', and (simply) 'excoriation'. We briefly review clinical and historical aspects of these disorders.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Delusions / history
  • Delusions / psychology*
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Parasitic Diseases / history
  • Parasitic Diseases / psychology*
  • Self Mutilation / history
  • Self Mutilation / psychology*
  • Terminology as Topic*
  • Trichotillomania / history
  • Trichotillomania / psychology*