The psychological impact of cutaneous leishmaniasis


M. Yanik, Department of Psychiatry, Medical Faculty of Harran University, 63100 Sanliurfa, Turkey.


A psychiatric disorder would be associated with extensive, unsightly lesions on exposed body parts. Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) has long been endemic in Sanliurfa and is called ‘beauty scar’. The aim of this study was to determine psychological impact of CL. Patients with active CL, with CL that had healed with scaring, and healthy controls were included in this case–control study. The Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HAD), Body Image Satisfaction Scale (BIS), and Dermatology Quality of Life Scale (DQL) assessments were performed to determine the psychological effect of CL. The patients with CL had significantly higher HAD anxiety and depression subscale scores than the control groups. Patients with CL have decreased body satisfaction and lower quality of life than those in the control group. It was found that CL patients with active lesions have the lowest quality of life score than other groups. CL lesions on exposed body parts such as the face and hands, active CL for more than 1 year, permanent scar formation, and social stigmatization cause anxiety, depressive symptoms, decreased body satisfaction and quality of life in CL patients.