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Int J Dermatol. 2018 Nov;57(11):1275-1282. doi: 10.1111/ijd.13956. Epub 2018 Mar 8.

The associations between psychological stress and psoriasis: a systematic review.

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School of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


Psoriasis is estimated to affect around 2-3% of the general population. More than one-third of Australians report having a significant level of distress in their daily lives. Psychological stress has long been shown to play an important role in the natural history of psoriasis, but the details of this relationship remain to be clearly defined. We performed a systematic review of the literature with the aim of determining whether there is a temporal association between psychological stress as the predictor and onset and/or exacerbation of psoriasis as the outcome measure. Our secondary aim was to establish whether there is a relationship between the degree of psychological stress and clinical severity of psoriasis. Our systematic review demonstrates a probable temporal association between different measures of psychological stress and onset, recurrence, and severity of psoriasis. In the light of this, we suggest clinicians include "stress" as a trigger factor in their psoriasis assessment and consider psychological interventions as adjuncts, particularly in those who identify as "stress-responders".


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