As the skin is an organ that has a primary function in tactile receptivity and reacts directly upon emotional stimuli, dermatological practice involves a psychosomatic dimension. It is, however, the high visibility of dermatoses and their easy accessibility which make the skin a direct target for behavioural problems. Furthermore, self-destructive tendencies and hypochondriacal features often express themselves through dermatological symptoms: dermatits artefacta and skin hypochondriasis are among the specific psychocutaneous disorders discussed here. In view of the clinical interface between dermatology and psychiatry, general guidelines are formulated and specific aspects of psychotherapy, behavioural treatment and psychotropic drug treatment are discussed.

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