The Center for Integrative Dermatology is a research and patient care service that utilizes a biopsychosocial approach to understanding and treating dermatological diseases and conditions. This area of medicine, known as psychocutaneous medicine is growing rapidly and of increasing interest for patients.
The relationship between the mind and the skin is well-recognized in conditions that react to stress such as psoriasis and eczema, in certain psychiatric conditions, and in conditions affecting a patient's evaluation of their appearance such as body dysmorphic disorder. There is evidence that skin diseases are associated with increased rates of obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression. When these disorders interact with the skin condition the disease can only be adequately evaluated and treated with an Integrative biopsychosocial approach. It is estimated that individuals with these co-morbid conditions are unlikely to seek help from mental health care providers and remain largely untreated.
Psychocutaneous medicine examines the social, emotional, and relational factors that may be interacting with skin disease. These factors include: personality traits, coping styles, stress reactivity, thoughts, and beliefs. Our integrative approach strives to synthesize what we know about the effects of these factors on health outcomes to provide the best in patient care and to inform our research initiatives.