Associated psychiatric symptoms in patients with Skin disease is common, and, even if not life threatening, it may be considered “life ruining.” Symptoms of depression and anxiety, work-related problems, and impaired social interactions are frequently observed. Psoriasis, chronic eczema, various ichthyosiform syndromes, rhinophymas, neurofibromas, severe acne, and other cosmetically disfiguring cutaneous lesions have grave effects on psychosocial interactions, self-esteem, and body image; major depression and social phobia may develop. ‘Secondary psychiatric disorders are what are considered associated with disfiguring skin disorders. This is where disfigurement from a skin disease results in psychologic problems, such as decreased self-esteem, depression or social phobia. Most psychodermatologic disorders can be treated with anxiety-decreasing techniques or, in extreme cases, psychotropic medications.
One hundred people who had attended a hospital outpatient clinic during a specified period for treatment of their acne, psoriasis or eczema were interviewed in their homes. A comprehensive and structured interview schedule was used and interviewees were encouraged to talk at length about the impact that their skin conditions had had on their lives. The findings record not only the physical discomfort and inconvenience sufferers may meet but also the consequences for their personal and social life and daily functioning. There is evidence from interviewees’ employment experiences of limited opportunities, and functional and interpersonal difficulties in the workplace. 64% of people said that their skin disease affected their socio-economic activity. The extent to which sufferers experienced embarrassment, anxiety, a lack of confidence and depression is documented. 40% of people felt that their social life was affected and there was evidence of particular stresses and demands in personal relationships.