Because some dermatologic problems have comorbidities and increased risk factors of other medical problems, such as psoriasis with psoriatic arthritis and metabolic diseases (eg, abdominal obesity, diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, chronic kidney disease), it is even more pertinent to recommend approaches for healthy mind and body well-being as a supplement to medical care.26
With accurate diagnosis by a dermatologist, appropriate conventional treatments can improve dermatologic problems. These treatments alone can reduce patients’ stress and improve skin, hair, and nail conditions; however, if it is clear that stress is interfering with a patient’s overall well-being and ability to cope with his/her dermatologic condition, concurrent stress management interventions may be warranted. In some instances, recommending yoga sessions, mindful meditation, or breathing exercises may help, while in others referral to a mental health professional may be necessary.
Beyond the direct physiological effects of stress, it also is worth mentioning that patients who deal with stress also tend to scratch, pick, or irritate their skin more and often lack the motivation to adhere to skin care regimens or treatments, again supporting the idea that our approach in managing these patients must be multifaceted. As dermatologists in training, residents should be cognizant of the potential psychological sequelae of some dermatologic problems and be aware of the possible use of supplemental interventions by our patients.