Published: 2018-07-24

A study of skin manifestations in patients with psychiatric disorders

Haritha Samanthula, Madhavi Kodali, Karthik Manyam


Background: The interaction between psychological factors and skin diseases has long been hypothesized. Considerations of psychiatry and psychosocial factors are important for better management of dermatological disorders as coexistence of psychiatric and dermatological disorders are mostly seen. The aim of the study was to identify skin manifestations in individuals suffering from psychiatric disorders.

Methods: A total of 100 patients attending dermatology OPD were screened for history of any psychiatric illness and patients with a positive history of psychiatric illness were recruited into study. The skin lesions were categorised as per the classification of psychodermatology and results were analysed accordingly.

Results: The patients recruited belonged to age groups ranging from 12 to 70 with a higher female to male ratio (54% females and 46% males). The psychophysiological disorders constituted 29 %, among them chronic urticaria (34.4%) followed by psoriasis (27.58%) constituted the majority. 18% had primary psychiatric disorders, of which pruritis (61.1%) and delusions of parasitosis (22.2%) were commonly observed. Secondary psychiatric disorders constituted 21%, among them vitiligo comprised (33.33%), and acne (28.57%).

Conclusions: The study shows a positive association of skin diseases with psychiatric illnesses. Dermatologists should be able to treat the patients holistically, and must know the ideal time to refer the patients to psychiatrists for better management.


Psychodermatology, Skin manifestations, Psychocutaneous disorders

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