Depression and Skin Disorders

Depressive disorders are often seen together with skin disorders. The rate of the comorbidity of depression and dermatologic diseases is about 30% (Filaković et al., 2009).

The disorders in psychodermatology have been classified into three categories (Filaković et al., 2009). The first category includes the psychophysiological disorders caused by stress experiences. The second category includes the secondary psychiatric diseases caused by skin disorders and therapies. The third category includes primary psychiatric diseases and therapies that may cause skin disorders.

The comorbidity of depression and skin disorders may result from specific immunological factors associated with genetic and adaptive processes (Filaković et al., 2009). The cytokines in the immune responses may be involved in the non-infective inflammatory activities and hormonal productions.

The alterations in such processes may influence the functions of the vegetative and central nervous system (CNS) and result in the “sickness behaviors”. Such behaviors and depression are often manifested as the anxiety, loss of appetite, anhedonia, as well as the reduction of concentration and interest (Filaković et al., 2009).

The complexity in the comorbidity of depressive and skin diseases requests integrative therapeutic strategies targeting various facets of both diseases. The team approaches and the collaboration between the psychological and the physical care have been recommended (Filaković et al., 2009). More studies should be helpful to reveal the relevant pathways in both disorders for more effective treatments.

Filaković P, Petek A, Koić O, Radanović-Grgurić L, Degmecić D. Comorbidity of depressive and dermatologic disorders – therapeutic aspects. Psychiatr Danub. 2009 Sep;21(3):401-10.

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