Content » Vol 93, Issue 1

Special Report

Self-Inflicted Lesions in Dermatology: Terminology and Classification – A Position Paper from the European Society for Dermatology and Psychiatry (ESDaP)

Uwe Gieler, Sylvie G. Consoli, Lucía Tomás-Aragones, Dennis M. Linder, Gregor B.E. Jemec, Francoise Poot, Jacek C. Szepietowski, John de Korte, Klaus-Michael Taube, Andrey Lvov, Silla M. Consoli
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-1506


The terminology, classification, diagnosis and treatment of self-inflicted dermatological lesions are subjects of open debate. The present study is the result of various meetings of a task force of dermatologists, psychiatrists and psychologists, all active in the field of psychodermatology, aimed at clarifying the terminology related to these disorders. A flow chart and glossary of terms and definitions are presented to facilitate the classification and management of self-inflicted skin lesions. Several terms are critically discussed, including: malingering; factitious disorders; Münchausen’s syndrome; simulation; pathomimicry; skin picking syndrome and related skin damaging disorders; compulsive and impulsive skin picking; impulse control disorders; obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders; trichotillomania; dermatitis artefacta; factitial dermatitis; acne excoriée; and neurotic and psychogenic excoriations. Self-inflicted skin lesions are often correlated with mental disorders and/or patho-logical behaviours, thus it is important for dermatologists to become as familiar as possible with the psychiatric and psychological aspects underlying these lesions.


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