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Psoriasis, a model of dermatologic psychosomatic disease: psychiatric implications and treatments


  • Conflicts of interest: None.

Evan Rieder, md
Department of Psychiatry
New York University School of Medicine
550 First Avenue
NBV 20N11
New York
NY 10016


Psoriasis is a common dermatologic disorder with psychiatric comorbidity that often goes undetected and untreated. Psoriasis has higher associations with psychiatric illness than do other dermatologic conditions. We conducted a comprehensive qualitative review of all published medical literature on psoriasis and psychiatric comorbidities since 2005. We found that psoriasis patients suffer psychiatric and psychosocial morbidity that is not commensurate with the extent of cutaneous lesions. Biologic therapies and nonpharmacologic psychosocial interventions show promise in treating comorbid psychiatric illness. The main limitations of this review are the low quality of published studies and the infrequent use of basic science endpoints in reporting treatment outcomes. The literature examining the psychiatric comorbidity of psoriasis is expanding but remains of variable quality. Stronger studies will be necessary to more accurately estimate comorbidities and help identify and comprehensively treat suffering patients.