Psychological and Social Impact of Long‐term Dermatological Conditions

Christine Bundy, Lis Cordingley


An altered appearance associated with skin conditions may confer significant additional emotional and social burdens on patients. For some conditions, this burden is substantial and enduring. It is crucial to recognize that the degree of impact is not necessarily directly related to the severity of the underlying skin pathology but is more likely to be associated with people's beliefs about the condition, about its treatment and their perceived ability to cope. In routine clinical management, the life impact is rarely acknowledged or managed explicitly and this can have repercussions for self‐management, in particular adherence to prescribed treatment. This chapter summarizes current knowledge about the psychological and social impacts of a range of common skin conditions dermatologists will encounter and provides an understanding of an evidence‐based psychological approach to supporting and addressing patient needs in routine dermatological consultations.
Keywords psychological, cognitive, emotional, behavioural, skin conditions, quality of life, social impact, stigma


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