Should You Be Seeing a Psychodermatologist for Your Psoriasis?

By Claire Gillespie
Reviewed by Allison Truong, M.D.
September 17, 2021

The connection between skin and mental health is well documented and backed by science. As just one example, a population-based cohort study published in JAMA Dermatology found that people with psoriasis were 39 percent more likely to have been diagnosed with depression than people without psoriasis.

So, it makes sense that there might be a doctor who specializes in helping people with their psoriasis and their mental health. Here, we explain the link between psoriasis and mental health, how a psychodermatologist may help, and how to decide if you should see one of these specialists.

The Link Between Skin and Mental Health

The skin and the nervous system are embryologically connected, explains board-certified psychiatrist Mohammad Jafferany, M.D., executive director for the Association for Psychoneurocutaneous Medicine of North America and clinical professor of psychodermatology at Central Michigan University College of Medicine. This is because both are derived from ectoderm, the top layer of cells or tissue of an embryo in early development.

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