Depression profiles in skin disorders


Introduction: Dermatological problems often present mood disorders, depression, anxiety disorders and psychological conditions relevant to psychosomatic conditions. Seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis, both characterized by chronic inflammation of skin, have been linked to emotional states. The aim of our study was to compare the two emotional profiles of patients with seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis, in order to evaluate, quantitatively and qualitatively, the emotional picture in the two groups of disease. Methods: The study group included 33 patients affected by seborrheic dermatitis (21 males and 12 females, age range 18 - 67 years, mean age 39.85 ± 15.45 years) and 36 other patients affected by psoriasis (22 males and 14 females, age range 18 - 67 years, mean age 41.11 ± 13.72 years). The protocol included clinical assessment of the skin disorder and psychological assessment of emotional profile using the test Profile of Mood States (POMS) and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale TAS-20. An exploratory factorial analysis was carried out for the POMS factor D (depression) to evaluate the composition of the items found in the two types of skin disorders. Results: The comparison between patients with psoriasis and patients with seborrheic dermatitis in relation to the TAS score and the different aspects of mood and showed a significant difference concerning factor D (depression) of the POMS. Conclusions: This study shows the correlation between depression and two skin disorders, seborrhoeic dermatitis and psoriasis. In both cases, the clinical picture falls under the definition of “depression due to a general medical condition”. However, qualitative differences make the psychologic frame of psoriatic patients close to that of “major depression”, while in patients affected by seborrheic dermatitis the psychologic frame is more similar to that of “minor depression” (DSM IV).

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Settineri, S. , Guarneri, F. , Saitta, A. , Mento, C. and Cannavò, S. (2013) Depression profiles in skin disorders. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 3, 186-190. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2013.31A014.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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