Prurigo nodularis and lichen simplex chronicus

Dermatol Ther. Jan-Feb 2008;21(1):42-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8019.2008.00168.x.


Emotional tensions in predisposed subjects may play a key role in inducing a pruritic sensation, leading to a scratching that, becoming a self-perpetuating pathomechanism, may represent the main feature of two distinct cutaneous clinical entities: prurigo nodularis and lichen simplex chronicus. Psychogenic factors play a relevant role in both conditions, and they are often associated with depression and dissociative experiences. Hence, the importance of the evaluation of these patients from the point of view of psychodermatology, which may analyze the relationship between skin disease and psychological factors. Patients with real or perceived imperfections in particular areas of the body (face, scalp, hands, and genital area) are more prone to psychologic distress, whereas cutaneous diseases may lead to experience a heightened level of distress. As psychosomatic factors have been estimated to be present in at least one-third of dermatologic patients, effective management of skin conditions involves consideration of the associated emotional factors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Neurodermatitis / diagnosis
  • Neurodermatitis / psychology*
  • Neurodermatitis / therapy
  • Prurigo / diagnosis
  • Prurigo / psychology*
  • Prurigo / therapy
  • Psychoneuroimmunology