A link may exist between the desire for a cosmetic procedure and psychiatric disorders. Significantly more cosmetic patients are diagnosed with at least 1 psychiatric disorder compared with patients in a dermatologic medical group. Multiple disorders are a more common diagnosis with cosmetic patients. Significantly more cosmetic patients are likely to be on psychiatric medication than patients in a dermatologic medical group and the cosmetic group are prescribed significantly higher percentages of stimulants, anxiolytics, and antidepressants. These are among the findings presented recently in a research letter published by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Researchers sought to illuminate the relationship between the desire for a cosmetic procedure and psychiatric disorders.
They conducted a retrospective review of medical data that included 2000 patients from a single large academic center that encompassed a medical dermatology clinic (N=1000) and a laser and cosmetic dermatology clinic (N=1000). It is unknown if medical data was retrieved from medical records and/or direct interview with patients.
Researchers discovered patients in the cosmetic group were younger with a higher woman-to-man ratio than the medical group. They noted that 49.2% of cosmetic patients were diagnosed with at least 1 psychiatric disorder vs 33.1% in the medical group (P <.00001), and more likely to be diagnosed with multiple disorders than the medical group. Overall, anxiety, depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and insomnia were the most common disorders and the cosmetic group had significantly higher rates than the medical group of all of these diagnoses. Researchers observed significantly higher rates of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in the cosmetic group.
They found a significantly higher percentage of cosmetic patients on psychiatric medications (1.67 vs 1.48 average number of psychiatric-related medications among patients on at least 1 psychiatric medication), and observed by drug classification, the cosmetic patients used significantly higher percentages of stimulants, anxiolytics, and antidepressants.
Research limitations include the retrospective design, the single-center design, lack of a control group, and underpowered sample size for some between-group comparisons such as OCD.
Researchers concluded that compared with patients in a medical dermatology group, of the patients in a cosmetic dermatology group “nearly half carried a psychiatric disorder diagnosis with a higher degree of psychiatric polypharmacy.” The percentage of women was higher in the cosmetic group and researchers noted women were affected more than men by all disorders within the psychocutaneous spectrum (particularly the neurotic variety). They added “The cosmetic group had higher usage rates of most drug classes, with significant differences noted in antidepressants, anxiolytics and stimulants,” and they observed a higher average number of psychiatric medication usage among the cosmetic patients.
This article originally appeared on Dermatology Advisor
Richey PM, Chapin RW, Avram MM. Psychiatric comorbidity and pharmacology in a cosmetic dermatology setting: a retrospective cohort study. J Am Acad Dermatol. Published online October 22, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2022.10.040