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Do Cosmetic Patients Use More Psychotropic Drugs Than General Patients?

Cosmetic dermatology patients seek medical care for appearance-related complaints. Previous research has suggested that this population is more likely to have mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, or body dysmorphic condition compared to their general dermatology counterparts. A recent study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology sought to determine if a greater number of cosmetic patients used psychotropic medication compared to general patients in the same dermatology practice.

In the study, a retrospective chart review was conducted on all new female patients greater than age 18 at a single suburban comprehensive dermatology private practice. Patients who presented with dermatologic diagnoses previously reported to have significant psychiatric comorbidity (such as psoriasis, vitiligo, delusions of parasitosis, and neurotic excoriations) and patients who presented for both general dermatology and cosmetic dermatology concerns were excluded. The results showed that although a high proportion (approximately one quarter) of both cosmetic and general dermatology patients take psychotropic medications, there was no statistically significant difference in the psychotropic medication use between the two groups. The authors note that this finding serves as a reminder that we should take full medical histories as mental health may play a role in compliance and satisfaction with treatment.

 

Byline: Martha L. Sikes, MS, RPh, PA-C

Posted: July 19, 2016

Source: Journal of Drugs in Dermatology
Adapted from the original article.

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