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GIORNALE ITALIANO DI DERMATOLOGIA E VENEREOLOGIA

A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2008 October;143(5):283-7

language: English

Psychogenic alopecia

Campo D., Pisani A.

Italian Orthodermic Institute, Rome, Italy


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Aim. It has been seen that hair loss entails a perceived loss of personal attractiveness combined with the fear of growing old, and it presents negative repercussions on social life associated with a frequent reduction in mood tone. It has also been observed that the quality of life worsens in patients suffering from this problem. Other studies cast doubt on a cause-effect link of this nature, suggesting the possibility that hair loss might be secondary to a psychological condition of personal unease. Seen in this light, alopecia should be classified as a fully fledged psychosomatic disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the possibility that psychological aspects could play a causal role also in the genesis and persistence of hair loss.
Methods. A group of 29 patients were enrolled in the study with widespread hair thinning, more marked in the “front median” area, all patients presented hair thinning and hyperseborrhea.
Results. Of the 29 patients undergoing psychodiagnostic evaluation, 27 showed the presence of depressive symptoms.
Conclusion. This study underlines how psychic aspects can play a decisive role in the genesis and persistence of hair loss, prompting us to hypothesise a new nosographic entity that can be called psychogenic alopecia.

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