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J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2015 Oct;13(10):991-9. doi: 10.1111/ddg.12781.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder in dermatology.

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LWL University Medical Center of the Ruhr University Bochum, Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Preventive Medicine, Bochum, Germany.
Department of Dermatology, Venereology, and Allergology, St. Joseph Hospital, Medical Center of the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany.


Patients with obsessive-compulsive (OCD) and related disorders - primarily trichotillomania, body dysmorphic disorder, and skin picking disorder - frequently present to dermatologists due to associated hair and skin symptoms. It is therefore crucial that dermatologists be familiar with these disorders. In this review article, we provide an update on clinical features, neurobiology factors, and treatment options for OCD spectrum disorders. Employing PubMed and Cochrane Library databases, a selective literature search was conducted using keywords related to dermatological disorders within the OCD spectrum. OCD and its related disorders share several phenomenological as well as pathophysiological similarities, thus warranting their classification within a separate nosological category of psychiatric disorders. Another similarity of OCD spectrum disorders is the frequent concurrence of hair and skin diseases. Besides symptomatic dermatological treatment, the combination of psychotherapy (behavioral therapy) and psychopharmacotherapy (SSRIs) may be helpful. Although recent insights into OCD have contributed to a better understanding and treatment thereof, more research is required, especially with respect to OCD spectrum disorders, for which large controlled treatment studies are still lacking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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