Dermatological and mental disorders are strongly related
Stress exacerbates skin problems. Visible defects of appearance make the patients feel worse on a regular, everyday basis.
The skin is your business card! Its condition affects the way you are perceived by your surroundings. Good appearance improves self-esteem, helps in work and in social life; it affects all areas of functioning in a positive way.
Studies have shown that approx. 40% of dermatological patients experience mental disorders. This means that dermatologists have contact with patients suffering from mental problems every day of their work.
Skin lesions often cause emotional problems due to the lack of acceptance of the patient’s own, changed appearance. They can lead to low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, relationship difficulties, addiction tendencies and, in extreme cases, suicidal thoughts and tendencies. That is why it is so important to work with both dermatologists and psychiatrists at the same time.
The most common disorder associated with the skin diseases is depression.
The main form of treatment for patients with psycho-medical conditions is psychotherapy. In patients with severe depressive symptoms, social phobia or other anxiety disorders, antidepressants are usually applied. This strategy works in the treatment of, for example, psychogenic pruritus, psoriasis, urticaria, alopecia areata, or excessive sweating.
Other symptoms that should be treated by both a dermatologist and a psychiatrist are self-inflicted skin injuries, i.e. forced manipulation on the healthy skin like scratching, picking, or squeezing small skin conditions. They can lead to wounds, infections, and scars. Most often they are related to stress. Patients with a tendency to self-inflicted injuries may be helped with psychotherapy- aimed at reducing stress and developing other ways of coping with the emotional stress. In cases of severe self-inflicted injuries pharmacological treatment is indicated, otherwise, the disorder, which is not fully healed, will constantly reoccur.
Do not be surprised if our dermatologist recommends you visit a psychiatrist. Our experience has shown that such a therapy makes sense and moreover, this thesis was confirmed with psychodermatological studies. Therefore, in our Clinic dermatologists closely cooperate with the psychiatrist.
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