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Rev Med Inst Mex Seguro Soc. 2015 May-Jun;53(3):268-72.

[The role of alexithymia as a psychosomatic factor in psoriasis].

[Article in Spanish; Abstract available in Spanish from the publisher]

Author information

Servicio de Psiquiatría, Hospital de Especialidades, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Distrito Federal, México.


in English, Spanish


Alexithymia is the lack of mental representations of emotions leading to limited ability to understand and regulate these and can contribute to the development or maintenance of a psychosomatic illness. The aim of the study was to demonstrate that alexithymia is a feature that occurs more frequently in patients with psoriasis and that the coexistence of alexitimia-psoriasis is associated with high levels of trait anxiety.


We applied the Toronto Alexithymia Scale -20 (TAS-20), Inventory of state-trait anxiety (STAI) to 16 outpatients with psoriasis of Dermatology Service of Hospital de Especialidades (Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI) and the results were compared with 25 control subjects.


25 % of patients with psoriasis presented alexitimia, while in the control group was 8 % (p = 0.002). Correlation between the scores of the TSA-20 and STAI-trait (r = 0.6957, p < 0.0001) was observed.


The alexitimia occurs more frequently in individuals with psoriasis than in the general population, and levels of trait anxiety in individuals with psoriasis are similar regardless of the presence of alexithymia.


Affective symptoms; Alexithymia; Anxiety; Psoriasis; Somatoform disorders

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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