People with skin conditions are known to experience feelings of psychological distress. Signs to look out for are low mood, social anxiety, feeling tearful or anxious, lack of positive impact of treatment on the patient (despite the healthcare professional noticing improvement). The impact of these appearance-related concerns causes significant psychological distress and functional impairment (e.g. avoiding social situations, occupational difficulties, relationship problems). A number of these patients will present to aesthetic or skincare practitioners and may be missing out on important medical management of their skin concern and associated psychological impact.
It is important to spend time establishing a relationship with the patient and then to be able to highlight that their appearance-related concerns may be impacting their quality of life. Patients should be directed to their GP or dermatologist for holistic management of their skin and psyche.