Skin picking and sleep disturbances: Relationship to anxiety and need for research
ABSTRACT Pathological excoriation (PE) or skin picking is seen in nearly 2% of patients attending dermatology clinics and is often associated with anxiety, stress and frequent help-seeking behaviors. While anxiety and stress are thought to cause poor sleep in the general population, not all anxious people, even those with disabling anxiety disorders, necessarily suffer from insomnia or other sleep problems. The relationship between anxiety symptoms and poor sleep, therefore, remains unclear and sleep quality in PE is unknown. We examined the sleep quality and levels of anxiety in dermatological patients with PE. Dermatological patients with (n = 10) and without (n = 10) PE and healthy controls (n = 10) were assessed on standardized and validated measures of subjective sleep quality [Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI)], anxiety (Spielberger State and Trait Anxiety Inventory; modified Zung Anxiety Scale), stress (Perceived Stress Scale) and work and social disability [Sheehan Disability Inventory subscale (SDI-4)]. Patients with dermatological complaints as a group reported poorer sleep quality, higher scores on Spielberger State and Zung anxiety, perceived stress, and SDI-4. Among both groups of dermatological patients, only the PE group had significantly poor sleep, high anxiety, and perceived stress compared to healthy controls. In the dermatological patients with PE, PSQI-global scores were significantly positively correlated to Spielberger State and Zung Anxiety scores. Dermatological patients with PE are more anxious and have poorer subjective sleep compared to dermatological patients without PE and healthy. Future research is needed to elucidate these relationship factors and to develop new behavioral and drug treatments for the management of PE.
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ABSTRACT: Narrow-band ultraviolet therapy has been used successfully for the treatment of inflammatory skin disorders and generalized pruritus. We have prospectively evaluated seven consecutive patients with resistant psychogenic excoriation (PE) treated with narrow-band ultraviolet B (NB-UVB). Approximately 70% of all patients showed improvement in their condition. NB-UVB therapy was well tolerated, with no serious side effects. We may conclude that, when treating a patient with PE, NB-UVB in combination with other approaches may provide extra benefit in resistant cases.Photodermatology Photoimmunology and Photomedicine 06/2010; 26(3):162-4. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-0781.2010.00512.x · 1.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Hair pulling disorder (HPD; trichotillomania) and skin picking disorder (SPD) are relatively common and potentially severe psychiatric conditions that have received limited empirical attention. Researchers are increasingly recognizing the similarities and co-occurrence of HPD and SPD, and several authors have suggested that the two disorders should be categorized together in the DSM-5. In the present article, we critically examined the evidence for comorbidity of HPD and SPD, and reviewed a diverse literature pertaining to shared risk factors and similarities in clinical characteristics. Evidence suggests that the two disorders co-occur more often than can be expected by chance, have substantial similarities in a variety of clinical characteristics (e.g., symptom presentation and course of illness) and may have some distal risk factors in common (e.g., genetic vulnerabilities). Implications for classification in the DSM-5, clinical management and research on etiology were discussed.Clinical psychology review 07/2012; 32(7):618-29. DOI:10.1016/j.cpr.2012.05.008 · 7.18 Impact Factor
Article: Sleep-wake disorders and dermatology[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Sleep is an active process that occupies about one-third of the lives of humans; however, there are relatively few studies of skin disorders during sleep. Sleep disruption in dermatologic disorders can significantly affect the quality of life and mental health of the patient and in some situations may even lead to exacerbations of the dermatologic condition. Sleep and skin disorders interface at several levels: (1) the role of the skin in normal sleep physiology, such as thermoregulation, core body temperature control, and sleep onset; (2) the effect of endogenous circadian rhythms and peripheral circadian "oscillators" on cutaneous symptoms, such as the natural trough in cortisol levels during the evening in patients with inflammatory dermatoses, which most likely results in increased pruritus during the evening and night; (3) the effect of symptoms such as pruritus, hyperhidrosis, and problems with thermoregulation, on sleep and sleep-related quality of life of the patients and their families; (4) the possible effect of primary sleep disorders, such as insomnia, sleep apnea, sleep deprivation, and circadian rhythm disorders, on dermatologic disorders; for example, central nervous system arousals from sleep in sleep apnea can result in increased sympathetic neural activity and increased inflammation; and (5) comorbidity of some dermatologic disorders with stress and psychiatric disorders, for example, major depressive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that are also associated with sleep-related complaints. Sleep loss in atopic dermatitis (AD) is likely involved in the pathogenesis of ADHD-like symptoms in AD. Scratching during sleep, which may be proportional to the overall level of sympathetic nervous activity during the respective stages of sleep, usually occurs most frequently during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) stages 1 and 2 (vs stages 3 and 4 which are the deeper stages of sleep), and in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, where the severity of scratching is similar to stage 2 sleep. Patient and parental reports of nocturnal itch and scratching in AD typically do not correlate with objective measures of scratching.Clinics in dermatology 01/2013; 31(1):118-26. DOI:10.1016/j.clindermatol.2011.11.016 · 1.93 Impact Factor