The skin is the largest organ in the body and serves a multitude of functions, including a major role as a sensory organ and an important part of the immune system. The relationship between the mind and the skin has been long appreciated, with both biological (as these two systems have a bidirectional relationship mediated via immunologic mechanisms) and psychodynamic (since the skin plays a central role in our sense of self) perspectives elucidated.
It is estimated that approximately a third of patients presenting to dermatology clinics have a co-occurring psychiatric illness. Similarly, psychiatric disorders have a significant association with dermatological diseases and psychotropic medications can cause potentially life-threatening adverse reactions. Moreover, stress is known to play a significant role in the exacerbation of certain skin conditions. These relationships are often complex and multifactorial, with genetic vulnerabilities and environmental, sociological, and cultural variables all playing roles. As such, the navigation of the interface between psychiatry and dermatology exemplifies the central themes of consultation-liaison psychiatry and provide an ideal example of psychosomatic illness.
In this general session we will present updates on select topics in psychodermatology, specifically:
-Dr. Jafferany will discuss the role of psychoneuroimmunology in the various manifestations of psychodermatologic illness and the effects of these diagnoses on quality of life. (15 minutes)
-Dr. Bongale with review the use of effective and efficient screening tools in a dermatology clinic to identify patients with psychological comorbidities, an algorithm for treatment, and strategies for the management of co-occurring psychiatric and dermatologic symptoms in an integrated healthcare system. (15 minutes)
-Dr. Hafeez will discuss specific approaches to the assessment and evidence-based management of psychodermatologic symptoms in geriatric patients. (15 minutes)
-Dr. Shim will present an exploration of the significance of tattoos in psychiatric evaluation and diagnosis. Older research had demonstrated a correlation between tattoos and a variety of psychopathology, but as tattoos become more ubiquitous in our culture this relationship will require reexamination. (15 minutes)
-Dr. Caplan will review the evidence regarding human leukocyte antigen (HLA) testing and corresponding likelihood of dermatological adverse reactions (including Stevens Johnson syndrome) associated with the use of a variety of psychotropic medications. The discussion will include ethnic variability for these genotypes and how this may influence testing and choice of treatment. (15 minutes)
The talks will be followed by panel discussion and Q&A moderated by Dr. Caplan. (15 minutes)