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J Indian Med Assoc. 2008 Apr;106(4):245, 262.

Psychogenic excoriation responding to fluoxetine: a case report.

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Department of Psychiatry, PS Medical College and SK Hospital, Karamsad 388325.


Compulsive skin picking, 'acne excoriee', neurotic (psychogenic) excoriation, dermatotillomania, occurring in 2% dermatology patients mostly in women, is a result of excessive scratching, picking, gouging or squeezing of the skin using teeth, tweezers, nail files, pins and knives, etc. The lesions are usually found on face and also on upper limbs and upper back, areas patients can easily reach. They may occur in absence or in response to skin pathology or sensation of itching. A young female patient attended OPD with the complaints of multiple excoriated lesions over the face, arms and forearms. The diagnosis was psychogenic excoriation which is an uncommon psychodermatological condition. She was treated with fluoxetine and behaviour therapy. The patient recovered fully with above treatment at the end of 3 months. Psychogenic excoriation is an uncommon psychodermatological condition which responds well to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and behaviour therapy (habit reversal training).

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