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J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2008 Jan;6(1):8-14. Epub 2007 Sep 17.

Skin and psyche--from the surface to the depth of the inner world.

[Article in English, German]

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Basel of Switzerland. hbeltraminelli@uhbs.ch

Abstract

About 30% of dermatology patients have signs or symptoms of psychological problems. Dermatologists should be familiar with the basics needed to identify, advise and treat these patients. Because of the complex interaction between skin and psyche, it is difficult to distinguish whether the primary problem is the skin or the psyche. Sometimes the clinical picture is a consequence of interactions between them and other factors. The interactions between skin and psyche are well known in history, art and literature--perhaps better known today because the marked emphasis on such images in our modern multimedia society. Aging is increasingly perceived as an illness and not as a physiological process. Through globalization, many different cultural approaches to the skin have entered in our daily life and influence our communication. This article considers the most important dermatoses which often show primary or secondary interaction with the psyche.

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