Psychological Therapies and Mind–Body Techniques in the Management of Dermatologic Diseases: A Systematic Review

Brandon Rafidi, Koushik Kondapi, Molly Beestrum, Saihej Basra, Peter Lio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: There is a clear link between skin disease and psychological factors and this relationship works both ways: skin diseases can cause psychological distress and psychological issues can worsen skin disease. There are a number of therapies that approach this problem from the psychological side and may be useful, especially as adjunctive therapies in select patients. Objective: The aim of this review was to determine the efficacy of various psychological therapies and mind–body techniques in the management of common dermatologic diseases in individuals of all ages. Methods: A systematic review of PubMed, Elsevier, and Wiley was performed for studies investigating psychological and mind–body interventions in the management of various skin diseases. Both physical and non-physical treatment outcomes were considered. Studies were evaluated for both risk of bias and overall quality of evidence. Results: A total of 40 articles studying unique sets of dermatological patients receiving psychological therapies or mind–body interventions were identified. Of the 40 included articles encompassing 3112 patients, 18 investigated these interventions in psoriasis management while 15 focused on atopic dermatitis. The remaining studies investigated vitiligo (2), pruritus (2), acne vulgaris (2), and acne excoriée (1). Conclusions: Based on the analysis of included studies and an assessment of their quality of evidence, the most promising interventions are cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based interventions, and habit reversal therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-773
Number of pages19
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


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