European Journal of Dermatology


Clinical pictures and classification of somatoform disorders in dermatology Volume 16, numéro 6, November-December 2006

Klinik für Dermatologie und Phlebologie, Vivantes Klinikum, Berlin Friedrichshain, Akademisches Lehrkrankenhaus der Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Landsberger Allee 49, 10249 Berlin, Germany, Clinic for Psychosomatic and Psychotherapy, University Giessen and Marburg

Somatoform disorders in dermatology are a heterogeneous group from a biopsychosocial point of view. Among the clinical patterns we find, for example, pruritus, pain, paresthesia as well as feelings of disfiguration, eco-syndromes, erythrophobia or psychogenic pseudoeffluvium. The multiple clinical symptoms are usually accompanied by psychosocial disorders, these are subjective complaints by the patient which cannot be medically objectified.The relevant somatoform disorders in dermatology can be differentiated as somatisation disorders, hypochondriacal disorders, somatoform autonomous disorders, persistent somatoform pain disorders and “other somatoform disorders”. A precise differential-diagnostic division is necessary in order to initiate adequate therapy strategies. With this overview article, we would like to make an updated classification recommendation for dermatology and present experiences in therapy.