Differences Between Psoriasis Patients and Skin-healthy Controls Concerning Appraisal of Touching, Shame and Disgust
Theresa Lahousen, Jörg Kupfer, Uwe Gieler, Angelika Hofer, M. Dennis Linder, Christina Schut
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease associated with high levels of psychological distress and considerable life impact. Feelings of shame and stigmatization can lead to avoidance of social activity and intimacy. In this study, the questionnaire TSD-Q was used to evaluate pleasure in touching oneself and in a partnership, parental touching during childhood and (skin-related) shame and disgust. Skin-related disgust and shame were significantly higher in psoriatic patients than in healthy controls. Moreover, psoriasis-patients scored significantly lower than skin-healthy controls concerning appraisal of self-touching and parental touching. In contrast, psoriasis-patients scored higher concerning appraisal of touching in a partnership. Due to the fact that low self-esteem might enhance the negative evaluation of touch and the feelings of shame and disgust, psychological interventions should be integrated in the treatment of psoriasis.