Relevance of psychiatry in dermatology: Present concepts

Indian J Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;52(3):270-5. doi: 10.4103/0019-5545.70992.


Skin is an organ that has a primary function in tactile receptivity and reacts directly upon emotional stimuli. Dermatological practice involves a psychosomatic dimension. A relationship between psychological factors and skin diseases has long been hypothesized. Psychodermatology addresses the interaction between mind and skin. It is divided into three categories according to the relationship between skin diseases and mental disorders. This article reviews different dermatological conditions under each of the three categories namely psychosomatic disorders, dermatological conditions due to primary and secondary psychiatric disorders. Dermatological conditions resulting from psychiatric conditions like stress/depression and those caused by psychiatric disorders are discussed. This review intends to present the relationship between the 'skin' and the 'mind' specifically from the dermatology point of view. The effects on the quality of life as a result of psychodermatological conditions are highlighted. A multidisciplinary approach for treatment from both dermatologic and psychiatric viewpoints are suggested.

Keywords: Liaison therapy; mind; psychodermatology; quality of life; stress.