Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 140–145 | Cite as

The role of psychological stress in skin disease

  • Arash Kimyai-Asadi
  • Adil Usman



Numerous case reports and studies have suggested that psychological stress may have a role in the onset or exacerbation of a variety of skin diseases.


We review the literature pertaining to the role of psychological stress in the exacerbation of psoriasis, urticaria, eczematous dermatitis, herpesvirus infections, and other skin diseases; discuss potential mechanisms of stress-induced skin disease; and review studies and case reports of psychotherapeutic interventions that have been found helpful in the therapy of skin diseases.


There is evidence linking psychological stress to exacerbation of certain skin diseases. Both the clinical and the basic science evidence, however, can be hard to interpret in light of the difficulty of defining and quantifying psychological stress as well as the questions regarding the etiologic significance of neuroimmunologic findings in skin diseases.


Psoriasis Atopic Dermatitis Skin Disease Urticaria Psychological Stress 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



De nombreux rapports de cas et de nombreuses études ont révélé que le stress psychologique peut jouer un rôle dans l’apparition ou l’exacerbation de diverses affections cutanées.


Revoir la documentation portant sur le rôle du stress psychologique dans l’exacerbation du psoriasis, de l’urticaire, de la dermatite eczémateuse, des infections à herpèsvirus et autres affections cutanées, décrire les mécanismes potentiellement responsables des affections cutanées dues au stress, et revoir les études et les rapports de cas sur les interventions psychothérapeutiques qui se sont avérées utiles dans le traitement des affections cutanées.


On a la preuve qu’il existe un lien entre le stress psychologique et l’exacerbation de certaines affections cutanées. Les arguments relevant à la fois de la clinique et des sciences fondamentales, cependant, peuvent être difficiles à interpréter compte tenu des problèmes que posent la définition et la quantification du stress psychologique de même que des questions concernant la signification étiologique des manifestations neuro-immunologiques observées dans les affections cutanées.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Ronald O. Perelman Department of DermatologyNew York University School of MedicineNew York
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew York

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