Psychoneurocutaneous medicine: past, present and future

Wien Med Wochenschr. 2017 Oct;167(Suppl 1):31-36. doi: 10.1007/s10354-017-0573-3. Epub 2017 Jun 14.


Psychoneurocutaneous medicine is an important and rapidly growing field. It is an integrative science created to address the interaction between the mind, nervous system and skin. Four major fields are involved: psychiatry, psychology, neurology and dermatology. The history of psychoneurocutaneous medicine is old and fascinating. Even though it is a young science only established in the last century, allusions to the nervous system and diseases of the skin can be traced back thousands of years in the literature. Characteristically, the last two centuries were of special importance for the development of this field in Europe, lately in America, with great effort placed on research and publications. More recently, the creation of associations, work groups and the merging of subspecialties dedicated exclusively to study the psychological impact of skin disorders in subpopulations of patients have helped to give momentum to psychoneurocutaneous medicine. Further development of this field will shed light on the appropriate diagnosis and treatment of psychodermatologic disorders, enhancing the functionality and quality of life of patients. This paper presents a summary of the most influential facts in the history of psychoneurocutaneous medicine, its present and future perspectives.

Keywords: Dermatopsychiatry; History; Psychodermatology; Psychoneurocutaneous Medicine.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Dermatology / history*
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Neurocutaneous Syndromes / history*
  • Neurotic Disorders / history*
  • Psychiatry / history*