American Journal of Clinical Dermatology

, Volume 4, Issue 12, pp 833–842 | Cite as

Psychiatric and Psychological Co-Morbidity in Patients with Dermatologic Disorders

Epidemiology and Management
  • Madhulika A. Gupta
  • Aditya K. Gupta
Review Article


Psychiatric and psychological factors play an important role in at least 30% of dermatologic disorders. In many cases the impact of the skin disorder upon the quality of life is a stronger predictor of psychiatric morbidity than the clinical severity of the disorder as per physician ratings. Furthermore, in certain disorders such as acne and psoriasis, the psychiatric co-morbidity, which can be associated with psychiatric emergencies such as suicide, is an important measure of the overall disability experienced by the patient. The severity of depression and increased suicide risk are not always directly correlated with the clinical severity of the dermatologic disorder. Consideration of psychiatric and psychosocial factors is important both for the management, and for some aspects of secondary and tertiary prevention of a wide range of dermatologic disorders. It is useful to use a biopsychosocial model which takes into account the psychological (e.g. psychiatric comorbidity such as major depression and the impact of the skin disorder on the psychological aspects of quality of life) and social (e.g. impact upon social and occupational functioning) factors, in addition to the primary dermatologic factors, in the management of the patient. Some dermatology patients are likely to benefit from psychotherapeutic interventions and psychotropic agents for the management of the psychosocial comorbidity, in addition to the standard dermatologic therapies for their skin disorder.


Psoriasis Atopic Dermatitis Suicidal Ideation Acne Major Depressive Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this manuscript. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this manuscript.


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© Adis Data Information BV 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Mediprobe LaboratoriesLondonCanada
  3. 3.Division of Dermatology, Department of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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