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  Authority of Polish Society of Allergology

vol 15. no 3. September 2010  

 Postgraduate education
Psychodermatology in allergology
Anna Zalewska-Janowska

Numerous data point out at the important role of stress situation and
psychoimmunological factors in triggering many allergic skin diseases,
including atopic dermatitis (AD), urticaria, angioedema and contact
dermatitis. It was demonstrated that AD patients showed further distorted
epidermal barrier function under stressful situations and polarization
of the immune system towards Th2 response. Neuropeptides
further add to the decreased itching threshold and strong scratching
behavior, and thus potentiate neurogenic inflammation. Psychological
interventions aiming at stress alleviation exert positive influence on
patients, improving both their well-being and skin condition. Stress is
regarded as one of the strong triggers of chronic urticaria. In one study
as many as 81% of the patients reported chronic idiopathic urticaria
development under stressful life events. Chronic idiopathic urticaria
patients more often presented obsessive-compulsive behavior, big
depression and obsessive-compulsive personality and anxiety traits, in
comparison to the normal healthy control group. HRQL is considerably
lower in chronic idiopathic urticaria patients in comparison to general
population, and on the same level as patients with chronic venous
insufficiency. For decades stressful life events were regarded as a triggering
factor for angioedema, which has even been called angioneurotic
oedema. However, the scientific background of this relationship
still needs to be developed. Contact eczema, especially if located on
hands, belongs to skin diseases that highly decrease HRQL. It interferes
enormously with the professional and leisure activity of the patients,
and is devastating for their everyday private lives.

keywords: psychodermatologia, alergia, psyche, skóra, atopowe zapalenie skóry, pokrzywka, obrzęk naczynioruchowy, wyprysk, psychodermatology, allergy, psyche, skin, atopic dermatitis, urticaria, angioedema, eczema

pages: from 109 to 117

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