Scaly skin linked with depression

August 23rd, 2010 - 4:39 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 23 (IANS) People suffering from a dry, scaly skin seem to have an increased risk of depression, anxiety and suicidal feelings.
The skin condition, known as psoriasis, is caused by a defect in the immune system that produces skin cells in superabundance.

“Psoriasis has long been recognised to be associated with potentially adverse effects on mental health,” wrote study authors from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, US, according to the journal Archives of Dermatology.

“In the 1960s, a popular ad campaign labelled the emotional burden of this skin disease as the ‘heartbreak of psoriasis.’ However, there have been relatively few studies evaluating psychological outcomes in patients with psoriasis,” they added.

University of Pennsylvania researchers studied data from electronic medical records in the UK from 1987 to 2002, said its release.

The analyses included 146,042 patients with mild psoriasis, 3,956 patients with severe psoriasis and 766,950 patients without psoriasis.

Of patients with mild or severe psoriasis, 25.9 per 1,000 individuals per year were diagnosed with depression, 20.9 per 1,000 per year with anxiety and 0.9 per 1,000 per year with suicidal tendencies.

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