Psoriasis is a chronic, relapsing, cutaneous condition with 1-2% prevalence in the general population. There are many factors involved in the induction and/or exacerbation of psoriasis of which stress is a well-known trigger factor in the appearance or exacerbation of psoriasis. Stress reaction in patients with psoriasis is probably mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal relationship with immunologic effects. Stress response involves increased levels of neuroendocrine hormones and autonomic neurotransmitters. Psychological stress or an abnormal response to stressors has been found to modify the evolution of skin disorders such as psoriasis. It can also have substantial psychological, and psychosocial impact on a patient's quality of life. Treatment regimens include stress-reduction strategies, such as biofeedback, meditation, yoga, and self-help approaches. This review focuses the relationship between psoriasis and stress, especially relating to psychosocial, psychological, and emotional stress aspects.
© 2011 The International Society of Dermatology.