Relationship between psychiatric disorders and skin problems: literature review

Saulė Gražulytė1

1Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius, Lithuania


Background. The relationship between psychiatric disorders and skin problems has been studied for many years. Many psychiatric patients develop some type of skin problem. Some problems are related to poor skin care, others to stress, anxiety and drug use. Many dermatology patients struggle with difficulties and self-doubt in their lives. These things can also cause psychiatric problems. It is important to know how often this occurs and to pay attention to the necessary treatment.

Aim: to analyze the literature on comorbidity of psychiatric disorders with skin diseases.

Methodology. The search of the literature was conducted in PubMed and Google Scholar. Publications were selected based on the following keywords: “psychiatric disorder”, “skin disease”, “medication side effect”. More than 1000 publications in English and German languages were found. After reviewing the titles, 74 publications were selected. Publications that did not fit the purpose of the article were rejected. In the end it was chosen and reviewed 28 publications published in 2003-2021.

Results. Comorbidity between these diseases is widely discussed in the scientific literature. Parasitic skin infections, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis usually occur with primary psychiatric disorders. Patients with skin problems often become depressed. Suicidal thoughts have been found to be much more common in these patients.

Conclusions. The relationship between psychiatric disorders and dermatological diseases is very common. It is important not to overlook such diseases and treat them with multidisciplinary teams.

Keywords: psychiatric disorder, skin disease, psychiatric medication effect, psychodermatology.

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