• Vol. 47 No. 12
  • 15 December 2018

Psychological Profile of Patients with Psoriasis

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ABSTRACT

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease with a global prevalence of approximately 2% and significant psychiatric comorbidity. There is a great deal of existing literature assessing different aspects of psychology in psoriasis. We aimed to conduct an in-depth review of current evidence linking psoriasis to personality traits and psychiatric comorbidities, as well as factors that put these patients at risk of psychopathology. Materials and Methods: A search of the PubMed database identified 1632 articles. We included articles studying psychological comorbidity in patients with psoriasis, looking especially at personality characteristics, and data linking psoriasis with increased risks of psychological distress, depression, anxiety and suicidality. In particular, we also evaluated subgroups in psoriasis found to be at risk. Results: Patients with psoriasis are more likely to be alexithymic, lack body awareness and possess a Type D personality. Alcohol, but not illicit drug use, disorders are also more common in patients with psoriasis. Patient groups who are especially at risk of psychological distress include women, younger patients, patients with a younger age of disease onset, those who self-assess their psoriasis to be severe, and those with lesions on visible or sensitive areas. Adopting motivational interviewing skills and incorporating the use of learning materials during consultations have been found to be useful. Conclusion: The knowledge of personality characteristics, “at-risk” groups, and early recognition of psychological distress among patients with psoriasis can help clinicians provide better holistic care and encourage a change in patients’ behaviour.


Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects approximately 2% of the population worldwide. The association between psoriasis and psychiatric disease is well documented and has been much better characterised in recent years.

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